Why and how to teach hand washing to young children

Why and how to teach hand washing to young children

Soap and water use is essential with dirty hands says UNICEF

It’s vitally important to teach all children how to wash their hands properly – and to enable them to learn the all-important when they should was as well, according to a UNICEF Parenting article called How to teach your kids handwashing

It’s also essential to make it easy for them to wash their hands, with an important example given being that they should of course be able to reach the sink by themselves.

Setting up a stool for them to stand on is mentioned in the article, but it’s probably easier to purchase mobile hand washing units that are designed especially for children, so that they can get those hands clean with no accessibility problems.

Described as “One of the cheapest, easiest, and most important ways you can keep your child safe from disease”, hand washing is undoubtedly a hugely important habit to master. The UNICEF report lists five ways that parents and preschool teachers could help to “turn handwashing into a healthy habit for life.”

They are:-

  1. It’s important to explain the importance and benefits of washing hands
  2. It’s essential to show kids how to was properly
  3. They must be shown how long to wash for
  4. It’s a good idea to have a number of set times for hand washing
  5. And finally, make it a fun activity!

Why soap and water is best

The article concludes with a number of interesting “Did you know?” entries, one of which mentions that washing with colder water is equally as effective as hot.

The benefits of hand gels are also dealt with, along with a warning that if a child’s hands are noticeably dirty (and when aren’t they?) it has to be the tried and tested method which prevails.

“But if your hands look dirty, you should wash them with soap and water. Although hand sanitizer is often more convenient when you are outside of the home, it is less effective on visibly dirty hands.”

Sanitisers carry a level of risk too. UNICEF warns that they should only be used under supervision and should be locked away at all other times.

How to teach your kids handwashing »

Hand washing expert Ethan shows how easy the KiddiWash Xtra is to use
Hand washing expert Ethan shows how easy the KiddiWash Xtra is to use

Hand wash units for younger children – place them wherever they’re needed!

Teal produces portable hand washing sinks that are idea for preschool and nursery children including the KiddiSynk and KiddiWash, which can be used equally effectively indoor or out.

The Teal range of mobile sinks includes the MediWashHygienius and Hygienius ProWashBigSynkSuper StalletteTEALwashHandeman XtraCompact ClassicHandSpa, CliniWash – and now the new WashStand Xtra.

How to choose the correct mobile sink »