Students put Clean Hands Up!

Hundreds of children in Southwest Jefferson County have held their “Clean Hands Up!” this month. Louisville Water has been hosting a handwashing blitz at several community-based organizations and schools where students have learned a simple but true remedy to take a bite out of the cold and flu season. The community effort is part of Louisville Water’s education program and highlights one of the best uses of water: handwashing.

According to the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, from just February 3 to February 9, more than 920 new cases of flu were reported — a record high for this flu season.

“Wash your hands as much as you can and then some more!” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. “It sounds so simple, but soap, water and a nice hard scrub will get those flu and cold causing germs off your hands. It’s why doctors and nurses still use handwashing as a first defense against the spread of viruses.”

Every year, Louisville Water educators partner with Bellarmine nursing students and area high school students to reach about 3,500 young children with the “Clean Hands Up” message. It’s a simple lesson with a potentially big impact. Students put “pretend” germs (a mixture of hand lotion and fluorescent paint) on their hands and then practice their handwashing skills.

Under the glow of a black light, they find out just how well they did and where they need work. If they miss spots between their fingers or around their nails, the “pretend” germs will glow bright green.

Students also learn how germs spread, where they hide and how to properly block them when you cough or sneeze.

This year, through Louisville Water’s focus on Southwest Jefferson County, students at the following schools and libraries have received the important health messages:

  • Kerrick and Crums Lane Elementary Schools (all grades)
  • St. Paul Catholic School (all grades)
  • Highland Park Daycare (two classes)
  • Southwest Regional and Shively-Newman Libraries
  • St. Andrew Catholic School (daycare and preschool)

In addition, all participating organizations received laminated Clean Hands Up mini-posters for their restrooms.

If you’d like to book a handwashing program or other free education programs offered by Louisville Water, email or call 502.569.3600 x2436. Each year, Louisville Water educators visit over 100 schools with experiments in science, health, social studies, math, and literacy. The curriculum uses water as the foundation for a variety of real-world examples.