UNICEF urges parents and teachers to “make handwashing a habit for children”
Teaching hand washing to children of all ages can help them, importantly, turn it into a “healthy habit for life”.
There are five key ways to get the hand hygiene message across to younger people, according to an article on the UNICEF website – and crucially, they are important not only in helping them stay free from unpleasant illnesses, they are easy and very inexpensive as well.
1) Why is hand washing so important?
The best place to start, says the article, is to educate youngsters about harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause illness – even though they can’t be seen.
2) How to wash hands properly
This very important element must demonstrate to children how to wash their hands effectively – surely the most important lesson that they can learn?
3) The duration of the hand wash
There’s little benefit in a “splash and dash” (something that unfortunately many adults seem to think is sufficient). Twenty to thirty seconds is cited as a minimum duration for this most important of activities.
4) When they should wash their hands
This advice from UNICEF (and countless other agencies) includes “when hands are visibly dirty” before and after having food, after toilet use and so on.
5) Make it fun!
The hand washing lesson is far more likely to be remembered if it’s an engaging activity that can be carried out in a group situation, with family or class mates. A five part infographic suggests ways that this can be achieved.
“Sing a song together — like the ABCs or “happy birthday” — while washing hands. This can also help
to keep you scrubbing for 20 seconds. Use a fun soap, something colourful, that foams well or smells good, or comes in an interesting shape.”
The guidance concludes with more useful supporting information in a “Did you know?” section, including the following:-
“But if your hands look dirty, you should wash them with soap and water.”
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.
Whether you require a larger wheeled unit such as the KiddiSynk, (top) or the ultra portable Kiddiwash Xtra, you can ensure that all children in your care are able to wash their hands whether inside or out.