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Northern Ireland man's free storybook is a handy guide to cleanliness for kids amid coronavirus pandemic

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Eamon Nancarrow with his book on hand washing

Eamon Nancarrow with his book on hand washing

Eamon Nancarrow with his book on hand washing

A children's storybook written by a local expert in infection control is one of the latest weapons in the fight against coronavirus.

Dad-of-three Eamon Nancarrow's The Clean Hand Book was launched free of charge on Amazon last Monday to encourage children to wash their hands thorughly to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Former rocker turned author and nurse Eamon, who lives in Carryduff, says he hopes the reissue of his book will help "spread the word, not the virus".

Written eight years ago for his own children Teelin (15), Tara (13) and Shane (8), Eamon confesses that the book didn't exactly fly off the shelves when first released.

In light of the current fears over Covid-19 he was approached by his publisher to relaunch it on Amazon last week.

Eamon, who is a public health nurse, agreed on the condition that the publication was made available free of charge.

The 54-year-old, who is married to Donna (48), a special needs classroom assistant, said: "I did a Master's degree in infection control, which got me thinking about my own children and their health.

"The best way to teach children about hygiene is through storytelling and so I wrote the book about eight years ago.

"Hand hygiene is the best way to stop the spread of bacteria and viruses.

"Kids are known as 'super spreaders', as they can be mucky wee pups, cleaning their noses with the back of their hands or on their sleeves.

If they get into good hand-washing habits when they are young it will serve them and everybody else well for the future Eamon Nancarrow

"This book contains stories that hopefully encourage children - and their parents - to wash their hands appropriately and to wash them correctly.

"The stories are set in the home, school, hospital and a petting farm.

"They are designed to be fun and memorable while being read to children, some of whom will become healthcare professionals and the food handlers of the future.

"If they get into good hand-washing habits when they are young it will serve them and everybody else well for the future."

Eamon is well-known as the former lead singer with local band No Hot Ashes.

His first book was an autobiography of his time with the band in his teens and 20s called Holywood Star: The Life And Times Of A Rock And Roll Misadventure.

Eamon worked on controlling the spread of infectious diseases in local hospitals for years and is now employed as a public health nurse.

He believes that our health service is set for tough times as the coronavirus continues to spread.

"Here we operate at 100% capacity and our hospitals are already slaughtered and there is worse to come," he said.

"We will no doubt see a lot of people with respiratory illnesses who have got the virus, and even staff are going to go down sick, they are not immune to it.

"All we can do is try and minimise it as much as possible and it would be great if the book helps."

The Clean Hand Book by Eamon Nancarrow, illustrated by Ray Kendall and published by Showcase UK is available to download at bit.ly/clean-hb

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