Tips for Moms: Teaching Kids the Importance of Hand Hygiene

Children are constantly exploring the world with their innocent curiosity. Most of their exploration occurs with their hands. Therefore, it is up to you to teach them how to comply with hygiene regulations, and the first step is through proper hand hygiene.

Washing hands may look too small a thing to be worried about; after all, your kids are constantly getting their hands dirty. However, it goes a very long way in fighting respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases which are also the most common diseases in your child’s age group.

For that, here are some tips that will help you teach proper hand hygiene in a fun and enjoyable way:

Start by Teaching Your Kids When to Wash Their Hands

First off, you want to make sure you teach your kids the right time to wash their hands. These include the following:

  • Before and after each meal and snack
  • Before and after touching or being near someone who’s sick
  • After playing outside
  • After petting animals
  • After sneezing, coughing, picking the nose, and blowing the nose
  • After being in the toilet
  • When their hands look dirty

Teach Your Kids How to Wash Their Hands

While you are teaching your kids how to wash their hands, make sure to make it last longer than 20 seconds to ensure that they do it properly. A great fun way to do this is by singing your child’s favorite song. Singing Happy Birthday two times is a good example since the song is easy to learn. Another good option is to sing the alphabet.

To start, you want to show them how to wash hands by doing it yourself:

  • Turn on the tap
  • Put your hands in the running water
  • Rub soap on both your palms
  • Rub your palms together with the soap then on the back of both hands between the fingers and under the fingernails (clipping their fingernails frequently will make this much easier to do)
  • Your entire hand should be soapy by now
  • Put your hands back in the running water to rinse off the soap
  • Use a clean towel to dry off your hands
  • Turn off the tap

Make It Fun and Personal

Take your kids with you to shop for their own special soap. Make it sure it is something that comes in a shape they love. You also want to make sure it smells nice as it will make them enjoy washing their hands.

Additionally, you can make a small toy as their washing buddy. Plastic toys are a good option. Your kids would want to clean the toy and play with it in the water, inevitably keeping their hands in the water too for long enough.

Lastly, tell them why it is important to wash their hands and that doing so will reduce the times they fall sick and make others sick too.

Practice!

The best way for kids to learn proper hand hygiene is by consistent practice. All children love to imitate their parents, so you’re their best motivation for practice! Make an activity out of it by putting glitter on your hands and your child’s hands and you both washing it off together.

Most importantly, make sure you’re washing your hands regularly, following the schedule given above. By watching you, your kids will sure to follow.

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