LSU AgCenter nutritionists teach hand washing at State Fair

Mary Ann Van Osdell, Jordan, Jacqueline A., Robinson, Cathryn B.  |  11/3/2009 3:31:29 AM

News Release Distributed 11/02/09

SHREVEPORT, La. – While 2,000 students tour the LSU AgCenter’s AgMagic at the State Fair on Nov. 4-6, another 1,500 will have participated in an education program focused on germs and hand washing, according to Cathryn Robinson, assistant extension agent in Caddo and Bossier parishes.

“Flu is a rampant problem this year affecting our children,” Robinson said. “And effective hand washing is one way to stop the spread.”

Nearly 600 students from seven Caddo-Bossier schools gathered at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum on the Fair Grounds to hear the lesson on Oct. 28. Another 900 from 15 schools will assemble Nov. 4 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Robinson taught that hands must be washed after touching pets, going to the bathroom, before eating and after playing.

“Use a paper towel and turn the faucet off with it,” Robinson said.

She told the students they cannot see germs with their eyes.

“Don’t put your backpack on the table, or your shoes or your purse,” she said. “Those things carry germs.”

A blast of air from a sneeze can travel 200 miles per hour, said Jacqueline Jordan, LSU AgCenter nutrition educator. “That fluid contains germs that can cause others to get sick.”

Jordan told the group to “catch your sneeze” or “cough in your elbow.”

The LSU AgCenter’s AgMagic exhibit, which helps people learn where their food and fiber comes from, is open throughout the course of the fair, which runs through Nov. 8. The exhibit has been scheduled for tours by 2,000 third through sixth graders in area schools Nov. 4-6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mary Ann Van Osdell

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