With children across Stockport now back at school for over a week, the chances are that many parents are already dealing with new-term bugs and sniffles.
And even though it is simple advice, one of the easiest ways to reduce the chances of your child and family picking up any germs is for everyone to practice good hand hygiene.
Councillor Tom McGee, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, said: “As your children start school for the first time, or return to school, they’ll come into contact with new children, and therefore new germs.
“This can be even more prominent as the weather gets colder, when lots of coughs and colds start to circulate.
“One of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of infections is to sing the ’happy birthday’ song with children – but making washing hands fun, as I do with my grandchildren, is just as effective.”
Effective handwashing takes around 30 seconds from start to finish, using the following technique:

• Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), and apply soap.
• Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
• Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
• Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
• Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them
It’s also important to remember to wash your hands:
•Before, during, and after preparing food
•Before eating food
•Before and after caring for someone who is sick
•Before and after treating a cut or wound
•After using the toilet
•After changing nappies or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
•After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
•After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
•After handling pet food or pet treats
•After touching household rubbish