In everyday life, we are constantly confronted with various microorganisms, so protecting children from all germs and bacteria is an impossible task. However, their effect on the health of the child can be controlled. How? By teaching children the basics of hand hygiene since it is the touch of the hand that is the most common cause of infectious diseases. Moreover, it has been proven that regular hand washing with soap and water reduces the incidence of infectious diseases among children under 5 years old by at least 50%.
Children, like magnets, attract microbes and bacteria, because they perceive the world through various senses - sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell. Unfortunately, it is impossible to see germs and bacteria with the naked eye. They cannot be touched, felt, smelled and tasted, therefore, in order to teach children basic hygiene of hands, they often have to use their imagination.
Here are some tips on how to help your child learn hand hygiene..
- Children are forgetful, so make sure that they wash their hands after going to the toilet, returning from a walk, playing with animals and before eating, and also to do it right. The more often you remind children when and how to wash their hands, the faster they will remember it.
- A very important factor in teaching children hand hygiene (and not only!) - good example parents, therefore, wash your hands regularly and try to wash them with your children at least several times a day.
- According to studies, 90% of the information a person perceives visually, so set at home reminders about the need to wash your hands. It is important that these reminders are at the level of the child's eyes! Simple graphic images are suitable for small children, drawings, collages, comics, and also written instructions. The effect will be stronger, if you attract children to create these reminders.
- If there are small children at home, make it easier for them to wash their hands, for example, put a special chair or a stable step in the bathroom, which they can stand on near the sink that is easy to reach before the mixer and soap.
- Children are very emotional, therefore keep the scary stories about microorganisms and their adverse effects with you. Introduce children to the world of bacteria and microbes in a fascinating and at the same time instructive way, for example, telling your own fairy tales.
- Most children do not represent their daily lives without friends and games. When discussing with them the issues of hand hygiene, you should definitely emphasize that if a child does not wash his hands, he will have to get sick often. The disease will be accompanied by poor health - headache, pain in the abdomen, etc. In turn, sick children can't attend kindergarten and school, go out to the yard to play with other children, attend hobby groups - football, dancing, singing, painting, etc.
- The golden law of hand hygiene for children: the more successfully they master the basics of hand washing, the fewer days per year they will have to struggle with poor health and blow their nose; accordingly, the more time they can spend with friends and enjoy themselves.
- Children avoid washing their hands mainly because they are naturally very impatient - they always have hundreds of other “urgent” cases. therefore make the hand washing process more fun- Include games, songs, etc. in it. For example, so that a child devotes 20 seconds to handwashing, which is in accordance with the recommendations of doctors, teach him to sing a song for washing hands.
- Most of the microorganisms are concentrated under the nails, on the side parts and in the folds of the palms, therefore, wash your hands carefully. Soap is an indispensable aid in the fight against germs and bacteria. According to research, soap allows you to wash off at least twice as many germs and bacteria than clean water. Teaching children proper hand washing, remember your childhood and the wonderful soap bubbles that you blow out with your hands.
- To further emphasize the important role of soap in hand hygiene, use bright soap dishes (you can paint, paste or paint them yourself with the child). In addition, you can use special baby soap of different shapes and colors. It will certainly attract the attention of children and make you want to spend more time with hand washing..
We bring to your attention a visual game "Our hands". Print out the hands, cut out the germs and stick paper clips on them, then attach the soap shape to the magnet. When the child holds the soap -the magnet-, the microbes -the clips- will stick and the hands will become clean. Here is a video bringing all these together.
Printable material here: