A new California state law that aims to make hand hygiene education a requirement in California public schools will have the same effect as it did in previous decades, according to a new report.
State Senator Scott Wiener, who sponsored the legislation, said the legislation will give teachers a much-needed education in hand hygiene.
It’s a good step, but it needs to be a step forward, Wiener said.
I believe the hand hygiene curriculum should be much more rigorous than the one we currently have in place.
“I want to emphasize that we are not advocating for a hand hygiene requirement in schools,” he said.
“We’re saying we want a hands-on approach to hand hygiene, and that’s what the curriculum should focus on.”
Wiener’s bill was passed by the Assembly last month, but the legislation is expected to go before the state Senate for approval in coming weeks.
The Senate is expected Tuesday to vote on whether to approve the legislation.
Wiener said his bill is not a requirement for teachers to teach hand hygiene to students.
The bill is aimed at increasing hand hygiene awareness among young children and adults, he said, noting that the California Department of Education had created a hand-washing guide for students.
“This is a good way to make sure kids have hands-to-mouth contact,” Wiener told ABC News.
“It’s also a good opportunity for us to get some hands-in-hand experience with the hands-free nature of these devices.”
Winer’s bill is the latest in a string of bills aimed at making hand hygiene more widespread.
A bill that would have made hand hygiene a mandatory subject in elementary and middle school, for example, has been blocked in the Assembly.
The legislation, however, was welcomed by hand hygiene experts and educators.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Pediatricians and the American Academy for Pediatrics all support a hands off approach, according the National Association of State School Administrators.
The AAP says the hands off movement “helps reduce the risk of transmission of the diseases that are transmitted to children.”
In a 2014 survey of 1,700 teachers in California, 92 percent of the respondents said hand hygiene should be taught in class, according Topps-based Hand Education.
In addition, a survey by Hand Education found that more than a third of the teachers surveyed said handwashing should be optional.