Friday, October 12, 2012

Handwashing and kids

I have two toddler boys. And I think there is a definite strong relation between boys and how easily they seem attracted to dirt. And how dirt seems easily attracted to them as well!

And boys being boys, they have the shortest attention span so it is important to ensure they get the message across through constant nagging reminders and repetition, and more importantly, getting the right gear to help get the job done in the quickest possible time. One of our frequent songs on our long car-rides to and from the office is “This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands. This is the way we wash our hands, so early in the morning.” (and brush our teeth or wash our hair) – It’s amazing how this song (and the corresponding hand actions) amuses my boys so!

Handwashing is an important step in personal hygiene – especially when you have inquisitive toddlers who enjoy sticking their fingers into every nook and cranny, and hardly bat an eyelid when holding on to a suspicious-looking handrail, and who have the knack of finding and fingering the dirtiest and dustiest places in the house!

Jay is so “well-trained” that if you were to ask him what he needs to do the moment he reaches home, he would chime, “Wash my hands with soap and water!” Clean hands are important, as a key measure to prevent kids from falling victim to infections, which might lead to diarrhoea or HFMD. When should you wash your hands? (Yes! As parents, WE need to have good handwashing practices as well.)

Before and after

  • Handling or preparing food
  • Meals
  • Caring for someone who is sick
  • Eating or feeding a child
  • Treating a cut
  • Giving medicine


  • Using the washroom
  • Wiping or blowing one s nose
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Changing diapers
  • Touching common surfaces such as lift buttons, door knobs, handles, table tops
  • Touching rubbish or something dirty
  • Playing with or touching pets

And it’s not just with Jay, I have also started the handwashing habit with Xav as well – though it is not as automatic with the younger one! But good hygiene starts young, and I am glad Jay is setting a good example for his younger brother.

In fact, over the last weekend, we were at an indoor playground, and Xav was happily enjoying the fun, and also got into some handwashing action with Daddy there as well!


Making sure Daddy soaps up well?


Did you know? Lifebuoy’s Global Handwashing Day is on October 15, and SANses will feature a special pledge that YOU can make too – to make a real difference in the life of a child!


1 comment:

Sherry Reese said...

Very good post, Sandra! I am a bit excessive when it comes to hygiene for my little ones too, but you can never be too careful. Evan knows that the minute he walks into the house, he takes off his shoes and washes his hands. I love that it is now his routine. Brody is also learning about hand washing as I lift him up to the sink and wash his little hands too. Of course, he loves it because he loves all things involving water. Ha! If we are somewhere we can't get to a bathroom easily, we use stores and other stores with yucky shopping carts, etc. Here in our area, we have a lot of "fairs" this season...I'm not sure if you know what those are over there. It is a big outdoor event with carnival rides set up and livestock/produce/crafts and things on is just a big fall festival. We have a big one in our state capitol. Anyway, one of the things kids love most about the fair is getting to see and touch the livestock and animals (and feed them too). Ugh, can you imagine the nastiness of letting animals lick and eat food out of your hand? Anyway, there have been so many cases of kids getting E. Coli bacteria and other serious infections from such places. If you let your kids interact with animals, please make sure they immediately wash there hands. It seems like common sense these days, but so many people apparently don't think about it. :-(