Hand hygiene for kids can be as simple as ABC if you know how to make the process engaging. Here are eight handy tips to help you teach your little ones about the basics of hygiene.
- Start by making the learning process fun.
- Recite the alphabet slowly or the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice to illustrate how long it takes to get your hands clean and free from germs.
- Make the process different by adding a twist to your typical handwashing techniques. Use differently scented, coloured and textured soaps to encourage your kids to use soap when washing their hands. From bar soap to liquid, red to yellow and from lemon-fresh to tea tree and aloe vera, encourage your children to insist on using soap when they wash their hands and they will learn more than the simple benefits of clean hands.
- Explain to your kids that the basic act of washing your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds can protect them from contracting the nasty bugs that cause them to get sick.
- Show them, using child-friendly glitter to represent germs, that it takes more than just a little bit of water to effectively clean hands.
- Use handwashing alternatives to reinforce the idea that clean hands are a healthy choice. Show your kids that if they don’t have access to soap and water, there are other ways to keep germs away. Hand sanitiser can easily be put into school and overnight bags to make sure that your kids never leave the house without a way to get their hands spotless.
- Keep a visual chart to illustrate to your kids in a way that they can understand the key times when they should be washing their hands. Show pictures of the bathroom, food preparation and eating, sneezing or coughing and when your hands are generally soiled.
- Don’t reward handwashing if you can help it. This is an action that your child should do without thinking about it. Instead, positively reinforce the act of handwashing by telling your child their hands smell lovely or telling them they can help you to do a task that’s fun because their hands are so squeaky clean.
Prevent the spread of germs and infectious disease by teaching your little ones about the benefits of washing your hands with soap and water in a way that’s interactive and fun.