Toilet hygiene is crucial for health, but do we do it correctly? And most importantly, do our children do it correctly?
The authors of a recently published study tried to answer the latter question, as well as to assess an intervention aiming to improve toilet hygiene in schoolchildren in Turkey.
This was a quasi-experimental study, with a total of 100 children aged 11-16 participating. Fifty children were included in the experimental group and 50 in the control group. Toilet hygiene was evaluated prior and immediately after the intervention, as well as one month later. The intervention consisted of a one time, 40 minute presentation revolving around 5 subjects: a) definition of hygiene, b) handwashing, c) importance of toilet hygiene, d) perinea hygiene and e) proper toilet using.
Twenty-one percent of the students reported that they cannot use the toilets whenever they need to, mostly due to dirtiness of the toilets. Sixty-nine percent of the participants reported changing underwear every 2-3 days. While almost all of the children reported washing their hands after going to the toilet, only one fourth of them reported washing them before using the toilet.
Total hygiene scores, which were obtained pre and post (shortly after) education, showed significant differences in the experiment group (from 73 points pre-internvention to 92.2 points immediately after and 95.8 points one month after the intervention.
The authors conclude that this one-time intervention program has been successful. Do you have any examples of similar interventions in schools in your country?