Proper Hand Washing Education for Small Children
Why proper hand?hygiene education for small children starts at home and not in school?
The school year 2015 have just begun.?This means that we parents should be ready that pretty soon a few of us will be presented with a call from a school staff that one of our children is sick and not feeling well.
When I get this call, I always worry twice more than normal people. I am always anticipating because for two main reasons; it is not easy for me to get out of work to pick up my sick child at school because I am working in health care industry.
At work, I cannot just abandon patients or shove all the work to my colleagues who are also overwhelmed with their own misery. The second reason is that I don’t feel good also when my child is down with a symptom. So stressful for me to see my child gets so sick with a cold?first, then followed by a cough and ends up with asthma exacerbation.
So the stress level increases proportionately at a greater impact on my life and work.?What about you, do you feel the same?
The only best-documented way to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria that cause coughs, colds, and other illnesses is HAND WASHING. It is of our best intention to start educating our children as young as possible when they start to comprehend what is going on around their lives.
At what proper age do we start to teach them?
Between the ages 2-3 when toddlers start to imitate adult behaviors. Kind of show and tell strategy. The better ways of teaching our kids include consistency, reassurance when they think they fail, and reinforcement when behavior is slipping away in order to succeed what we are teaching.
The best strategy I used to teach my child when she was two years old was all about showing what I did without talking too much since this child can not process two things at one time due to her limited attention span. Their minds can only process learning things in just a few seconds.
We should never get tired of reminding them over and over again, keeping them informed what they need?to know. Keep reinforcing?lapses since what they learn this hour will be lost the next. Hugs and kisses are the best rewards, nothing else for her and me.
As the child gets older, my teaching progressed to more of a talking strategy while showing the process. It means I need?to constantly explain and discuss with her the importance of proper?hand-washing techniques to prevent the spread of infection and avoid getting sick.
My daughter is now eight and the handwashing education I gave her is now solidly imprinted in her mind that it is part of her daily healthy habit, just like brushing her teeth. She has a pet hamster, and she knows that she has to wash her hands before and after handling the pet. This means she washes her hands dozens of times a day.
But from time to time, she will get lapses (which is very normal in young children) and it is okay since I cannot expect perfection at this age.
The fall season is coming in very close now and common respiratory symptoms including colds?and cough are on the verge of its?peak. Like in the past several years now, we almost always experience a new strain of flu virus every year. So it is really important for us to keep our hands clean all the time and get vaccinated against the flu?virus.
Some people do not really believe in vaccination. But actually if ever we get sick with flu after receiving a vaccine, the doctor’s general consensus was that our symptoms will be lesser compared to those who did not get vaccinated.
Our chances of getting the virus will be lessened if we follow a good habit of proper hand washing every time our hands get soiled, when we touch a pet, before eating and preparing foods, after using the toilet and touching a body part, touching bodily fluids, and so on…
I found a very effective hand washing techniques handout developed by the Minnesota Department of Health for children 3-6 years old. Teachers can use this valuable educational tool in their classrooms to reinforce their teaching methods.?
Click this link to upload the handout.?Hand Washing: Prevent Disease and Outbreak Intervention for Young Children (PDF: 215KB/3 pages)
Hand-washing vs.Hand Sanitizers
A reminder about using alcohol-based hand sanitizers instead of the actual hand washing techniques using antibacterial soap and water. If your child has hand eczema, it is better for the child to use a non-alcohol based product since alcohol was discovered to be causing exacerbation of eczema symptoms and flare-ups. This is what my daughter had for years now. Her pediatrician advised against using alcohol-based hand sanitizer product to sanitize her hands.
Hope your child/children are well and healthy this coming school year.
Good health to you all!
>>>If you want to know more or you want to read any particular topic to be posted next week, please leave a comment below. I will always be happy to serve you.