KIDSGAZETTE

Make it: A little glitter can teach us a lot about how germs are spread

Step 4: After doing this, examine your hands with the flashlight again. How well did you wash your hands? If there are s
Step 4: After doing this, examine your hands with the flashlight again. How well did you wash your hands? If there are still “glitter germs” on your hands, go back and try washing your hands properly again. (Iowa State University Extension and Outreach-Linn County 4-H Youth Development/For The Gazette)
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You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about germs and how to avoid them. Did you know that animals and people both have germs that we give to each other? Even pets and the animals used for food, called livestock, need to be protected from germs that can make them sick, just like we need to be protected from their germs.

Try this experiment to see how germs move from place to place and how you can stop spreading them to keep people and animals safe!

Make glitter germs

You will need:

Glitter

Various household objects (Stuffed animal, animal food, or livestock/pet supplies)

Flashlight (optional)

Step 1: With the help of an adult, sprinkle the glitter on various animal-related objects around your home to show where germs can be found. This could be on a stuffed animal, grooming tools, or in a bowl or feed bucket. Get creative!

Step 2: Use a flashlight to examine all the objects covered with glitter. Pay attention to how easy the glitter spreads on each item. Then, examine your hands, the floor and the bottom of your feet. Did any of the “glitter germs” spread to the floor or to your body?

Step 3: After examining all the objects and your hands, wash your hands.

Step 4: After doing this, examine your hands with the flashlight again. How well did you wash your hands? If there are still “glitter germs” on your hands, go back and try washing your hands properly again.

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How can you prevent the spread of germs?

After you’ve finished, think about this: What did you notice about the spread of germs on the stuffed animals, other objects, the animal food containers, and on your hands?

Think about what you could do to prevent the spread of germs between you, your animals, and the objects you use around your animals. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important things we can do to stop the spread of germs and stay healthy.

Best way to wash your hands

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is the best way to wash your hands:

Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, 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.

Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday song” twice.

Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Adapted from resources developed by the Center for Food Security and Public Health as shared by ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development.

Get involved

To get your child involved in fun learning opportunities, check out Clover Kids (K-3rd Grade), 4-H (4th-12th grade), Lego Teams, and hands-on educational kits for checkout at extension.iastate.edu/linn/4h.

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Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Linn County helps build a strong Iowa by engaging Iowans in research, education, and extension experiences to address current and emerging real-life challenges. The 4-H Youth Development program empowers youth to reach their full potential through youth-adult partnerships and research-based experiences.

Linn County Extension Office website: www.extension.iastate.edu/linn.

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