Hand hygiene and kids
We’ve heard the ‘wash your hands’ story over and over again. It’s been popping up in the media quite a lot recently. But as parents, we know how hard it is to get kids to maintain basic hygiene, let alone wash their hands on a regular basis!
To help out busy parents, we’ve put together some tips on tackling the tedious task of hand-washing.
First of all, it’s really important to know when to wash your hands. Children tend to rush from one thing to another, such as playing then eating. So the important thing here is to teach kids not only to stop and remember to wash their hands between activities, and especially when coming in from outside and before eating, but to make it part of their routine. Kids thrive on routine and all important things in life should form part of their daily routine. Try making a schedule for key times to wash hands, and then implement that each day until it becomes a habit.
The other thing to remember is to wash hands for at least 20 seconds, and clean all around including the back of your hands and also between your fingers. A fun way make sure that kids (and also adults!) wash their hands for 20 seconds is to sing the Happy Birthday song twice!
The other tip to keep things fun, especially for younger kids, is to have bright coloured handwash or soap, or one that foams up. Kids love colours and love to play, so this will add an element of excitement.
We should also talk to our kids in an honest way about why it’s important to wash hands. This means explaining that germs can cause illness, which causes snotty noses, coughs and fevers, and kids know that’s not fun!
It’s a challenging time at the moment with extra strict measures in place to control the COVID-19 pandemic, and no doubt children are also scared and confused, but by adding some fun and creativity to maintaining hygiene, we can get through this without too much hassle and come out with some useful new habits!