A survey of 3,000 six to ten-year-olds commissioned by Tesco Child Health Plan says that more than a third fail to cover their nose and mouth every time they sneeze and almost as many have neglected to wash their hands after using the toilet.
The findings are especially worrying given the current concerns surrounding contagious viruses in the run up to the flu season:
A quarter do not use a tissue to wipe their noses, typically opting for a sleeve or their hand instead. A fifth also admitted to having wiped their nose on a towel.
Children in London are more likely to use their sleeve than a tissue to wipe their nose.
Kids in Northern Ireland come bottom of the hygiene table. Half admit to not always washing their hands after going to the toilet and a similar number do not cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough
Jeremy Sutton of Tesco Child Health Plan says, "Despite the recent focus on raising standards nationally, getting basic hygiene messages through to our kids is not easy. It is not just younger kids that are failing to meet basic standards. Ten year olds are most likely to wipe their noses on their hands."
Private medical insurance: News update: 21 October 2009