Teaching Children About Hygiene Can Be Fun
Hands are one of the biggest carriers of germs, especially little hands that are busy playing and exploring. Washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap is one of the best ways to help protect you and your family from sickness. That’s why it’s important to make washing hands fun for kids, otherwise the lesson won’t stick. Here are a few hand washing techniques that will help you avoid a daily battle.
Make a hand washing chart
One easy way to make hand washing fun for kids is to set up a hand washing chart with the key times your children should be washing their hands at home with soap and warm water. This might include:
- Before breakfast
- Before lunch
- Before dinner
- After going to the toilet
- After playing outside
- After school
- After petting any animals
There doesn’t need to be a prize, but your children will love ticking off their own hand washing chart as a visual reward for their accomplishment.
Sing a song
Making sure your children wash their hands with soap and water for the recommended 20 seconds is important to help prevent the spread of germs. A good way to form a habit is to teach them to how to wash their hands to the tune of their favourite song. When they’ve finished singing, they will know they’ve washed their hands for the right amount of time. The great thing about this method is your children can take it anywhere with them – at school, at a friend’s house, and in any public toilets. You can even create a poster with their favourite song, like “Let it go” from Frozen, showing them how to properly wash their hands.
Make it child-friendly
Setting up a personalized washing station for your child at home with a stool and Dettol Liquid Handwash is another way to make hygiene exciting. The easier it is for your children to wash their hands, the less of a chore it will seem. Let your child choose their own supplies, like a special towel for drying their hands afterward, so that they can really take pride in washing their hands all by themselves. Over time you can also introduce different ways your little one can experience the habit of hygiene – from liquids (Dettol Liquid Handwash) to different textures (Dettol Foamy Handwash) to different fragrances (Dettol Strawberry). This can keep the routine interesting.
Play a game
If getting your children to wash their hands feels like a bit of a battle, turn it into a game. One idea is to play “Whose hands smell the cleanest?”. This should make sure those hands get a good, thorough scrub – they might even play it at school with their friends. Encourage your children to use soap and water by teaching them about germs in a visual way. Try sprinkling some glitter on their hands to represent the “germs” so they can see how much easier it is to wash the “germs” off with soap – and how important it is to wash their hands thoroughly.
Turn hand washing techniques into a fun arts and crafts project. Sit down with your child to make their own homemade poster showing the correct hand washing steps and keep it in the bathroom for reference. Drawing out how to wash your hands step by step is a great visual way to bring home the importance of proper hand washing. We recommend the following hand washing technique to make sure little hands are really clean:
- Wet your hands with running water.
- Apply Dettol Hand Wash.
- Rub hands with hand soaps vigorously for 20 seconds. Remember to get the back of your hands and underneath fingernails.
- Rinse thoroughly.
- Dry your hands with a clean towel or air dryer.
- Use the towel or your elbow to turn off the faucet.
- Doing this to the tune of their favourite song, as mentioned earlier, is also recommended.
Routine and repetition
Our final tip is to be lead by example. Be a good hand washing role model for your children and show them how it fits it into a routine. When you come home from work, shopping, or playing outside, make the point of hanging your coat up, taking off your shoes, and then washing your hands with soap and water before doing anything else. When you and your family are out and about, make use of products that protect you while on-the-go, like Dettol Hand Sanitiser. Build hygienic practices into your family’s routine, and soon enough a good hand washing technique will become a habit, helping to keep your little ones protected from nasty germs.
To find more tips on what products you can use to keep you children safe from germs, click here.