DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - A Decatur elementary school teacher used a science experiment to educate her students about the importance of washing their hands.

First grade teacher, Sarah Hott, was teaching her students about scientific methods and terms when she saw a post on Facebook about using bread to show the impact of hand washing.

Hott had half of her students use hand sanitizer and the other half wash their hands with soap and water. She then had the hand sanitizer students touch a slice of bread, the soap and water hands touch a slice o bread and also kept a controlled slice that had never been touched.

"(The) hand sanitizer, while the bread wasn't completely moldy as bad as the other ones there is still a little bit, there was absolutely no mold growing on the soap and water, so that is best for getting rid of germs."

Since Hott's students use iPads, she also wiped a slice of bread across one of the students iPads.

"This way the kids can have a physical understanding of how germs spread."

As the spread of flu, COVID-19 and other illnesses continue the Macon County Health Department urges people to continue washing their hands, because it could save someone's life.

"Especially if you are in a home where you have an elderly member of your family or you have children, washing your hands can prevent bringing in that virus to your house," explained health educator, Krystal Temple.

Hand washing is the number one way to prevent the spread of germs. Temple said anytime after touching things at the super market, shaking someone's hand or especially with kids it's important to use soap and water or hand sanitizer.

The heath department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the proper way to wash hands is using warm water, lather the hands with soap, scrub for at least 20 seconds, rinse and then dry with a clean paper towel.

"Make sure you are cleaning the tips of your fingers, that area is really what we are touching our faces with and usually for kid what's going in their noses," said Temple.

Regular hand washing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to other people, according to the CDC. In addition to hand washing, the Macon County Health Department urges people to clean their phones regularly and for women to wipe down their bags and purses.

For more information about hand washing and other tips, click here.

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