Five ways to make handwashing fun

08 December 2016 By Kelly Snee - Category buyer, Cleaning

Handwashing

We all know how important it is for adults and kids to wash their hands. Everyday thousands of children are absent from school due to minor illnesses, often spread through poor hand hygiene.

We all know how important it is for adults and kids to wash their hands. Everyday thousands of children are absent from school due to minor illnesses, often spread through poor hand hygiene. Figures from the Department of Education show that pupil sickness absence in primary schools is still a major issue with on average eight million pupil days per term lost due to illness in that period. This affects not only the children but the teachers and often involved the parents having to take extra time off work.

When washing hands, many people have a habit of a quick wash, then a quick shake to get the drips off, and then go. However, if you can teach children from an early age to dry hands until they’re completely free from moisture, then bad habits are less likely to develop.

One advantage of disposable paper towels is that the bacteria gets trapped in the towel. It’s when bacteria are transferred to the body interior that illness can occur.

Using liquid/ foam soap and rinsing with water removes a large fraction of most bacteria and viruses on the skin; especially when followed by thorough drying.

Monitoring and teaching hygiene is a major challenge for educational institutions and parents so below you’ll find a few useful hints and tips from experts in hygiene products to help convince young children to wash properly.

Changing children’s view of hand washing by making it fun will reduce pupil absenteeism that deprives children of valuable learning time; improve overall staff wellness, reducing costs of supply teachers and enhancing the school image.

  1. Sing a song: The correct amount of time to wash thoroughly with soap is 20 seconds.That's about as long as you need to sing the alphabet or Old MacDonald which is perfect. Encourage them to do this by singing together. Even better get the whole class involved in creating your own little rhyme and create colourful posters with the words on to put on the washroom walls encouraging pupils to use the fun verse.

  2. Make soap fun: Plan a large group activity and make your own soap, ticks the box of lots of Early Years Foundation stage learning outcomes and great science project, even adding colour to make the soap attractive.  There’s lots of soap making tutorials on the internet to help.

  3. Reward with stickers: All children love receiving a sticker as a reward. It’s a great chance for them to boast about the hand washing lessons and showing off their good hygiene. 

  4. Use technology with the Tork App: Tork one of the largest suppliers of paper hygiene have developed an app “Ellas Hand Washing Adventure” which is available as a free to download tablet app which teaches children to wash their hands correctly in a fun, interactive way. The app is available on in the Apple App Store or Google Play for Andriod.

  5. Make your washrooms fun: Investing in a wonderful resource such as the very cute Puff the Magic Dryer. Puffs mission is to encourage children to wash their hands properly and come with hand wash high five signs that can be stuck to washroom mirrors and other surfaces to remind children of the five steps to good hand hygiene as advocated by the world health organisation - and children’s hygiene specialists Toyguard.
Categories: Education

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