FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2004
Phone: (612) 215-7272
Seven "Soaper-Heroes" Help Kids Fight Colds and Flu
Fun Web Site Gets Kids to Wash Their Hands
ANN ARBOR, MICH. (December 15, 2004) - Seven "soaper-heroes" from the Scrub Club(tm) are coming to a computer near you to help teach children the proper way to wash their hands. The not-for-profit NSF International called on kids nationwide to visit www.scrubclub.org to do their part in fighting the 22 million school days lost each year due to the common cold alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Scrub Club(tm) - an animated, interactive Web site (www.scrubclub.org) developed by NSF International - was developed as a fun way for kids to learn the importance of washing hands to fight infectious and foodborne diseases. Each of the Scrub Club(tm) kids represents one of the six steps in the handwashing process - "Hot Shot" and "Chill" combine to make the warm water essential for proper handwashing; "Squeaks" turns into various forms of soap; "Taki" becomes a clock that counts down the required 20 seconds for proper handwashing; "Scruff" reminds kids to clean around their nails; "Tank" turns into a sink to rinse away the germs and "P.T." transforms into paper towels.
"When the Scrub Club(tm) first launched we focused on fighting salmonella and preventing foodborne illness," says William Fisher, vice president at NSF International, which is an independent, not-for-profit organization that certifies products and writes public health standards. "Now that it's cold and flu season, we've created fun characters that spring into action to do their part in educating kids about handwashing, which is a key building block in overall public health."
The Scrub Club(tm) is a fun and educational tool that parents and teachers can use to teach kids the six steps to proper handwashing. Proper handwashing is one of the most effective things that we can do to keep from getting sick and spreading illness to each other, especially with the shortage of flu vaccines this year.
The Scrub Club(tm) heroes now encourage kids to "Stop Fluin' Around" in an interactive game, featuring the evil villain "Influenza Enzo," that teaches children how the flu is spread and how to prevent it. Additionally, Scrub Club(tm) visitors can access free downloadable materials, such as a Scrub Club(tm) membership card, a wanted poster of "Influenza Enzo" (for causing sniffles, sneezes and headaches), a Scrub Club(tm) sticker sheet and clean hands activities that are fun learning tools.
The cornerstone of the Web site is still a "Webisode" featuring the Scrub Club(tm) as they join forces to fight off harmful germs and bacteria, teaching children the proper way to wash their hands along the way. The first "Webisode," "The Good, the BAC, and the Ugly," finds the Scrub Club(tm) battling the loathsome, but loveable character BAC (from the Partnership for Food Safety Education's Fight BAC! food safety public education campaign), and one of his partners in "grime" Sal Monella in a wild-west themed adventure. The Partnership for Food Safety Education, a non-profit organization, unites industry associations, consumer and public health groups and the USDA, CDC, FDA and EPA to educate the public about safe food handling and preparation.
In addition to the "Webisode," the site features the "Scrub Club(tm) Theme Song" and "Handwashing Song" sung by Phil Solem, singer for The Rembrandts (known for the Friends' theme song "I'll Be There For You"). Interactive games, activities for kids to download, educational materials for teachers, program information for parents and tips and activities for the home not only enhance the educational value of the site but also make it fun for kids to return to the site time and time again.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Clean Hands Coalition
The Partnership for Food Safety Education
About NSF International:
NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water, air and consumer goods (www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, Ltd., organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.