Clean Hands for Health

This is another metal detector find from the old recreation ground. It is, or was, a pin badge (the pin is missing) with the simple message, ‘clean hands for health’.

Clean hands for health badge (ca 1926) found in Market Lavington

Clean hands for health badge (ca 1926) found in Market Lavington

It has real meaning today, with the outbreaks of antibiotic resistant hospital infections but in fact this badge dates from around 1926. It was a Lifebuoy Soap merit award for children. Lever Brothers, who made Lifebuoy, started this campaign in 1926 in an attempt to educate children about dirt and germs and to wash their hands ‘before breakfast, before dinner and after school.’

No doubt a youngster, out on the old ‘rec’ was sad to lose the badge but maybe they had kept their certificate which came with it.

Ninety years (almost) on, we find that health workers are wearing a badge called a biovigil which detects washing gel and changes colour and beeps when hands need washing.

Technology may change. It seems that reminders regarding cleanliness do not.

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