Hand Hygiene Facts For Kids

Published: 16th November 2011
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Frequent hand washing staves off sickness, but getting kids into the habit can be difficult. Their minds are focused on play, and they often battle when asked to do anything but. This can be frustrating, and sometimes we adults give up the fight. It is this cycle that has caused neglectful hand hygiene to become a leading cause of childhood illness. If you’ve given up on arguing about hand washing, maybe these statistics will refuel the importance of a continued effort..

•At any given time, there are ten million bacteria on our hands; using the toilet doubles this number.
•Only 70% of adults, and 10% of kids, wash after using the restroom.
•Germs can live on your hands for up to three hours.
•80% of all infections become transmitted by unclean hands.
•Common surfaces, such as door knobs, tables, and phones, have over two million germs present at most times.

So, if little Johnny has been running around all day, playing with the cat, going to the bathroom, poking at a frog, and holding hands with friends; you might want to think twice before letting him take a bite of your sandwich. Ok, now that we’ve gained back some of our motivation, how do we go about developing a hand washing routine that is struggle free? Well, here are some tips to get you on your way to having happy kids with clean hands.

~Do as I do: Kids learn from watching and doing; not by hearing. So, when you first start out, take time to wash your hands with them.

~Fun is every kid’s middle name: Read story books about germs, have them join in creating a sign to remind them, or get silly when wash time comes around.

~Special items build excitement: Buy colorful and fun soaps that they can’t resist.

~Kids love to sing: Since proper hand washing is recommended for a length of 20 seconds, it is helpful to find a short song to sing while you wash. Sooner or later, you’ll hear that song emanating from the bathroom, and you’ll know your efforts have paid off.

The most important thing to remember is that you are a model for child at all times. They look up to you, and will do anything they can to be just like you. If your child sees you washing your hands regularly, they will aim to do the same. It is also a good idea to have a hand sanitiser available for them to keep their hands germ free all day.

">hand hygiene to become a leading cause of childhood illness. If you’ve given up on arguing about hand washing, maybe these statistics will refuel the importance of a continued effort.

•At any given time, there are ten million bacteria on our hands; using the toilet doubles this number.
•Only 70% of adults, and 10% of kids, wash after using the restroom.
•Germs can live on your hands for up to three hours.
•80% of all infections become transmitted by unclean hands.
•Common surfaces, such as door knobs, tables, and phones, have over two million germs present at most times.

So, if little Johnny has been running around all day, playing with the cat, going to the bathroom, poking at a frog, and holding hands with friends; you might want to think twice before letting him take a bite of your sandwich. Ok, now that we’ve gained back some of our motivation, how do we go about developing a hand washing routine that is struggle free? Well, here are some tips to get you on your way to having happy kids with clean hands.

~Do as I do: Kids learn from watching and doing; not by hearing. So, when you first start out, take time to wash your hands with them.

~Fun is every kid’s middle name: Read story books about germs, have them join in creating a sign to remind them, or get silly when wash time comes around.

~Special items build excitement: Buy colorful and fun soaps that they can’t resist.

~Kids love to sing: Since proper hand washing is recommended for a length of 20 seconds, it is helpful to find a short song to sing while you wash. Sooner or later, you’ll hear that song emanating from the bathroom, and you’ll know your efforts have paid off.

The most important thing to remember is that you are a model for child at all times. They look up to you, and will do anything they can to be just like you. If your child sees you washing your hands regularly, they will aim to do the same. It is also a good idea to have a hand sanitiser available for them to keep their hands germ free all day.


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