The project in the Gothenburg region educated pre-school staff in hygiene and hand washing - and saw a direct link to fewer kids being off sick. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Clean hands at pre-school meant fewer sick days

"We may think we are doing it - but often forget"
5:04 min

February is the month when many parents are forced to stay at home from work for a few days to look after their kids who are ill. Last year a new record was reached. A parent or a carer stayed at home on average four days of the year per child under the age of eleven. That is up half a day compared to the year before.

But in Gothenburg, they have found that putting just a little bit more effort into teaching the pre-school kids to wash their hands - can make a big difference.

An initial evaluation of the project showed that the number of kids home with a stomach bug was down by six percent between 2008 and 2009, saving society some 40 million kroner counting in the lack of income of the parents, medicine costs and social insurance payments, the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports.

Radio Sweden spoke to Marianne Bengtsson, one of four nurses specialising in hygienics in the pre-schools in the Gothenburg region in western Sweden.

To listen to the interview, click on the link above.

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