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J Environ Public Health ; 2021: 6638443, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438137


Background. Lack of knowledge about appropriate handwashing practices has caused great concerns for human health, especially in the risk of many communicable diseases. The objective of the current study is to determine the level of handwashing knowledge, attitudes, and practices among school students in Eastern Province Schools, Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional survey was recruited from November 2019 to March 2020 to assess the level of the students' handwashing knowledge. A reliable questionnaire was prepared (Cronbach's alpha = 0.608) and conducted using a two-stage sampling technique. A total of 271 students participated in the study from primary, middle, and high schools; 80% were boys, most of whom displayed an acceptable level of knowledge on hand hygiene. Nearly 75% and 74% of boys and girls, respectively, gained knowledge about hand hygiene practices from their parents. Only 46% of the students thought that handwashing is a potential protective measure against diseases, whereas 34% thought it only removes dirt. Prevalence of handwashing with soap after using the toilet was recognized among 52% of the students. Additionally, 93% of the students used water and soap to wash their hands (p value < 0.001) and 97% suggested that soap and water are the best methods to wash their hands (p value < 0.001). There was a positive correlation between the mother's education and hand hygiene practices (p value = 0.044). Results collectively indicated that handwashing knowledge and practices among school students in the Eastern Province are acceptable interventions in preventing the transmission of infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Indeed, further improvement conducted through specific health education programs to emphasize the role of handwashing in health hygiene is highly recommended.

Hand Disinfection , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Students , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Schools , Students/psychology , Students/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires