Reviewed by Kathy Empen on June 22, 2012

Sources

CDC. Brunilda Nazario, MD, WebMD Senior Medical Editor. Harley A. Rotbart, MD, Professor and Vice Chairman of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Denver; author, Germ Proof Your Kids: The Complete Guide to Protecting (without Overprotecting) Your Family from Infections.

© 2010 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Video Transcript

Nurse and Students: You are going to put it all over your hands and you going to try and take them off.

Narrator: The teens in this health class are learning how to take care of themselves by teaching each other how germs are spread. Demonstrations, like this one using shaving cream as a "stand in" for infectious germs, impress upon these youngsters just how tough it can be to avoid becoming contaminated with harmful viruses and bacteria.

Dr. Brunilda Nazario, WebMD Senior Medical Editor: Who got clean hands?

Narrator: WebMD's own senior medical editor, Dr. Brunilda Nazario, recently paid a house call here at North Springs High just outside of Atlanta. She wanted a diagnosis on how much kids know on how to keep germs from getting an upper hand and what to do should they get sick.

Dr. Brunilda Nazario, WebMD Senior Medical Editor: Even though your hands look clean, you still have germs—bacteria's everywhere.

Narrator: Another demo to drive home the lesson. The black light reveals how and where germs are transmitted from person to person…

Student: That is extra nasty.

Dr. Brunilda Nazario, WebMD Senior Medical Editor: So what do you have on your hands?

Narrator: Aside from the usual recommendations like regular hand washing and doctor checkups, rest and plenty of fluids; this class is also learning the prudence of keeping a distance… from their peers when they're sick… and from things that might make them sick when they're not…

Dr. Brunilda Nazario, WebMD Senior Medical Editor: I'll tell you something you may not know, as you flush that toilet those droplettes spray about six to ten feet. You may want to change your toothbrush to the other side. Okay, brush your teeth. Wash your face. What's next?

Student: Makeup.

Dr. Brunilda Nazario, WebMD Senior Medical Editor: Makeup. Sharing mascara…that stuff can carry viruses. It can carry bacteria… You've all heard of pink eye, right?

Narrator: Later, the kids tested each other on their what they had learned:

Student: What's a good reason for staying home from school?

Student: So you don't spread germs to other people…

Student: Should you let someone take a sip from your water bottle?

Student: No…no

Student: How can germs be spread through kissing?

Student: Well through kissing, it's a direct exchange of saliva—bodily fluids

Student: What part of your body are germs most likely to enter your system?

Student: Through your hands and your mouth…

Narrator: Useful lessons for cutting down their chances of becoming ill or infecting others if they do catch a bug.

Student: Oooh…come on. Give me high fives…

Narrator: For WebMD, I'm Damon Meharg.