Hand washing tips for tots

Many children have returned to school or have started their school or creche life for the first time this year. School can be the place where children pick up not just knowledge, but unfortunately germs as well. The importance of hand washing should be instilled from a very early age.

“Children mix quite closely with each other, both in the classroom and in the playground. Germs can transfer easily in such situations. Most children are not as conscious of personal hygiene as they should be, which can increase their risk of falling ill,” says Dr Kgosi Letlape, hand washing and hygiene advocate.

Dettol South Africa shares tips on how children can maintain proper hygiene at school using these simple steps:

Tip 1: Hand washing is a must
Hand washing is an essential part of good hygiene. To eliminate contracting germs it is important to teach your child how to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom, before and after eating. Dettol helps you educate your child on healthy hygiene habits with their easy to follow 6 steps to healthy and proper handwashing

Tip 2: Make hand washing fun and exciting
Children are more likely to wash their hands if they realise how important it is. As germs can’t be seen, or smelt, children may have trouble understanding that hands are dirty even if they look clean. Parents can come up with hand washing games to make washing hands fun, in doing so, children will more likely wash their hands. 2

Tip 3: Ensure that your child’s finger nails are clean and that they wash their hands frequently
Fingernails are a breeding ground for bacteria. The germs that live under a child’s nails are easily transferred to their eyes, nose, and mouth. Ensure that your child’s fingernails are clipped every week and that they wash their hands before and after eating their lunch at school.

Tip 4: Prevent the spread of germs
Teach your children good hygiene habits. Hand washing is important in controlling the spread of illness, especially during cold and flu seasons. Teach them how to wash their hands after coughing and sneezing, and after touching dirty tissues. Show children how to use a tissue to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze. Teach them to put their used tissues in a bin and wash their hands afterwards.

Tip 5: Let your child stay at home if they are not well
If your child is unwell, keep them away from school until they are better. Children should only attend school if they are well enough to benefit and participate, and not spread their germs to others.

Helping your child to understand good hygiene will go a long way to helping you and the rest of your family stay healthy. Through their school programmes, Dettol is committed to changing hand washing behavior, and aims to educate over 1.5 million learners by 2020.

6 steps for hand washing to teach your child/ren how to wash their hands to ensure they are protected from germs

6 Steps of handwashing

1.       http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/hygiene/
2.       http://www.parenthub.com.au/kids/hand-washing-games-activities/
3.       http://sussexreflexology.com/blog-lifestyle-habits-and-wellbeing/

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