It’s important for us to encourage teaching children about personal hygiene.
Hand washing is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to prevent illnesses and stop germs from spreading.
Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that frequent (and thorough) hand washing with soap and water can reduce the number of illnesses and infections in children under five years old by at least 50 percent.
Teaching children about personal hygiene is, therefore, crucial and our duty as a parent or carer.
Here are a few ways to help encourage your child to wash their hands:
- Make it fun by singing a song. 20 seconds – the time recommended by scientists to eliminate up to 99% of germs – can seem like an eternity for a child. Make it more fun by singing two rounds of a song, like Happy Birthday.
- Teach by example – wash yours too! Children are visual and kinetic learners – they learn best by seeing and doing.
- Create a routine and ensure hey know when they should be washing their hands – for example, after going to the toilet, before eating, and after playing with pets
- Help them understand why it’s important by explaining that germs can make them sick – it can be made fun (there are plenty of story books on this topic) and doesn’t need to be a horror story that gives them nightmares
- Create a hand washing chart that they can tick off throughout the day to see visual results of their efforts.
We acknowledge there is a lot more fear and anxiety floating around the world at the moment, and are doing everything we can to help you feel supported and safe during this time. You can contact us if you have any concerns.