Children referred to as “germ spreaders” in report
The younger children are and the more of them there are in any one place will greatly increase the risk of acquiring infections, making the teaching of hand washing very important, advises a recent article on the Cleveland Clinic website.
Illness may be seen as “inevitable” says the report, which revealed some interesting statistics with regard to numbers of children and household illnesses contracted on an annual basis.
There’s the age consideration, with children under five falling victim to at least one respiratory virus a year.
And the numbers factor, where “households with six kids spent 87% of the year with one or more viral infections, compared to only 7% of the year for households without kids”.
Illness is not inevitable – think hand washing
The crucial consideration to bear in mind, says the report, is that illness is not always inevitable if you put barriers and helpful rules in place that “reduce the spread of germs and the likelihood for infection”.
Emily Mudd PhD is a paediatric psychologist at the Clinic. She is widely quoted in the article, providing a total of six tips in order to help reduced the ongoing risk of illness.
The teaching of hand washing techniques to youngsters is vital she says.
“Your kids should be washing their hands every time they go to the bathroom, when they’re finished eating, anytime they’re exposed to dirt or other substances and every time they come in from outside to help stop the spread of germs.”
Helping them to keep engaged with the activity on an ongoing basis can be a challenge she admits. But introducing favourite songs and games can make the whole process fun – and therefore far more memorable.
“Distraction can be a great technique to encourage positive behavior in children of all ages.”
Other important considerations include the promotion of healthy eating, drinking plenty of water, encouraging outdoor play (not forgetting the hand washing when they come in of course), and making sure that children get appropriate amounts of sleep.
Teach children effective hand washing techniques with mobile sinks that can go anywhere – indoors or out
The Kiddiwash range of warm water hand wash units are perfect for smaller hands – and are ideal where a portable solution is required.
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