Clean your hands on family days out

Date published: 08 July 2019

It's important to clean your hands thoroughly and regularly on days out with the family to the likes of farms or swimming pools. Good hand hygiene can help prevent the spread of infections. By following a few simple tips, you can have an enjoyable time and stay well.

Open farms and swimming pools

Open farms and swimming pools can be great days out for all the family.  But it’s important to practise good personal hygiene at the appropriate times when visiting these places. 

All animals naturally carry a range of organisms, some of which can be spread to children and adults and can potentially cause severe infection, particularly in young children.

For example, E. coli O157 is easily passed from animals to children, can spread easily within the household and may cause severe infection in young children.

Cryptosporidium is another organism which causes infection. Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal cramps and watery diarrhoea. It can happen through contaminated recreational waters, including swimming pools.

Simple steps to follow

To reduce the risk of illness, all adults and children should follow some simple steps to ensure a fun day out.

Advice for swimmers:

  • don't swim when you have diarrhoea or have had diarrhoea within the past 48 hours
  • don't swim for 14 days after being diagnosed with Cryptosporidiosis
  • take a shower before swimming
  • wash your hands after using the toilet or changing nappies
  • make sure that babies and children wear purpose-made swimming nappies and take your child on bathroom breaks
  • do not swallow water

  Advice for visits to the farm:

  • wash hands thoroughly using soap and water after handling animals or touching surfaces at the farm
  • hands should always be washed before eating or drinking and after using the toilet

You can find out more on the following page:

Antibacterial hand gels and wipes are not a substitute for washing hands, as gels and wipes may not remove germs and bugs in the way that running water can.

However, using such gels after hand washing with soap and water may reduce the risk of picking up these infections.

Always supervise children’s personal hygiene to make sure it is carried out properly. 

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