Torbay Council’s Public Health Team is supporting Public Health England to encourage young children to be taught basic hygiene measures from a young age.

Torbay’s Deputy Mayor and Executive Lead for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Derek Mills, said: “Preventing infections in the first place is key, and good hygiene can reduce the spread of disease and the reliance on medicines.

“I strongly encourage that all children are taught the importance of good hygiene from a young age so that it becomes second nature to them as they grow up.”

It is recommended that young children in nurseries and schools are taught factors such as the following:

  • How to wash and dry their hands properly - Damp hands spread more germs than dry hands
  • When they need to wash their hands - After using the toilet, the number of germs on your hands doubles!), and before preparing food, for example
  • Covering their mouths when coughing or sneezing - When you cough, germs can travel 3m if you do not use a tissue or your hand
  • To dispose of used tissues
  • How infections can be spread - There are around 10,000 and 10million bacteria on each hand!

These simple hygiene steps, especially good hand washing, will help to prevent the spread of common infections and will reduce the need for antibiotics to be used if they become ill.

For more information on how to teach children about good hygiene visit

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