South Africa: why hand washing is so important for children

Portable hand washing sinks for children in Africa

Hand washing “can be as effective as vaccination”

Effective hand washing can help prevent “a million deaths a year” – which is why it is essential that children in South Africa are taught how to wash their hands properly, according to a recent report on Independent Media’s IOL website

The article quotes recent research by hygiene brand Dettol  which concluded that 60% of people using a public bathroom do not wash their hands – and of those who do, less than ⅔rds actually use soap.

Hand washing to control diarrhoea

The article advises that washing hands effectively with soap and water would bring about a likely reduction of diarrhoeal disease-associated deaths by as much as 50%.

IOL have also provided a tutorial showing how to wash hands properly.

Educating children is vital

272 million lost school days are lost a year, according to the report, which emphasises the importance of introducing children to hand hygiene is the best hope of reducing the impact preventable illnesses have across the world.

“More children die per day due to diarrhoeal diseases than from AIDS, malaria and measles combined, yet simple hygiene practices both at home and at school can help to break the chain of infection.”

“It seems like a mundane thing to do, but handwashing can be as effective as vaccination. There really is only one way to battle these diseases and that is on the ‘home front’.  The weapon of choice is education.”

How poor hygiene affects children in South Africa »

Children can wash their hands anywhere with a TEAL mobile unit

Handwash training for children is easy with a TEAL unit. Kids just love the warm gentle wash with these portable sinks – even when they’re on the go. And TEAL mobile sinks can ensure that children can have access to a warm water hand wash – even where they are enjoying outside play!

The TEAL KiddiWash Xtra and KiddiSynk mobile sinks are designed especially for smaller hands – and they make hand washing educational and fun.

Perfect for nurseries, creches, pre-schools, outside play areas and children’s pet farms, TEAL warm water hand wash units are robust, easy to use and easy to clean.

Portable sinks for younger children »

Teal’s Southern Africa distributor »