Good hand washing habits start from young.
What is the proper way to wash hands?
Children love playing, exploring and touching new things. They will touch their faces, rub their eyes or put their hands into their mouths. Their immune system is less developed as compared to adults, and they may fall sick frequently from infectious diseases. Thus, it is important for you to teach your child good personal hygiene such as hand washing.
Proper hand washing is the first line of defence against the spread of germs that will lead to various infections and diseases. The simple act of washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds reduces germ count up to 99 per cent.
Encourage your child to wash his hands
- before and after eating
- before and after helping out in the kitchen
- after using the toilet
- after sneezing, blowing his nose and coughing
- after playing outdoors
- after touching common surfaces such as lift buttons, door knobs and table-tops
- after touching pets/animals
- upon leaving 'high risk' places such as the doctor’s clinic, play gyms and other play areas
- after touching dirty items such as rubbish
Remember to model good hand washing behaviour to your child from young so that he will carry this healthy habit through to adulthood. He will be more willing to do it if he sees you doing it as well. Just 30 seconds of hand washing could make a difference to your health, and the health of your little one!
Other useful household hygiene tips
- keep the potty in the toilet (not in the bedroom or living area)
- keep the potty away from your child when not in use
- flush the contents down the toilet bowl, wash and disinfect the potty immediately after each use
- buy washable toys.
- wash (with warm, soapy water) and disinfect toys regularly, especially if your child likes to put them into his/her mouth.
"Washy washy clean" song
(sing to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
Children are more open to hand washing if you make it fun. Get your child to wash his hands to this jingle!
- 1. “We start with washing palm to palm”
- 2. “Between each finger let us rub”
- 3. “Now the back of the hands, it’s such a simple plan. We washy washy clean, scrub scrub.”
- 4. “Clean the base of the thumbs one by one”
- 5. “Then the back of the fingers, this is fun!”
- 6. “Don’t forget your fingernails, it’s about details. We washy washy clean, scrub scrub."
- after touching pets/animals
- 7. “Now move on to the wrists, let us rub. I think we’re nearly done, so now what?"
- 8. “Just rinse the soap away, dry our hands and we’re ok. We washy washy clean, scrub scrub.”
“So we washy washy clean,
We washy washy clean, scrub scrub
It’s fun to wash your hands and I
know you’ll understand
We washy washy clean, scrub scrub!”
Apart from hand washing, having a healthy lifestyle (healthy diet and regular exercise) is also important to strengthen one's immune system to fight against infectious diseases.