Little fingers: How to encourage good handwashing habits
It is amazing what a bit of soap and water can do when it comes to creating a happy and healthy family environment.
Washing our hands plays a huge part in this by preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses to different surfaces around our homes. Along with colds and flu, a lack of adequate hand washing can cause salmonella and E. coil poisoning and can make everyone in your house ill along with posing a serious threat to your baby.
You may think that your child is as clean as a whistle but according to one survey, a whopping 40 per cent of children do not wash their hands after using the bathroom and 75 per cent do not scrub up before a meal. So take our advice and get those kids (and hands) squeaky clean.
1. Make the sink easily accessible both in your kitchen and in the bathroom
Reaching the taps can be difficult for small children and can discourage them from turning on the taps. If this is the case, purchase a child-safe stool or step so that your child has easy access to the sink. Place soap and clean towels within reach of your little ones and make sure that the water is lukewarm. Freezing cold water can make handwashing unappealing.
2. Provide your kids with colourful nicely scented soaps
To ensure your children wash their hands thoroughly, purchase some appealing soaps in your child’s favourite colour or allow them to choose their favourite smelling soap in the shop. This will make the chore of handwashing more fun and will deter them from skipping out on the scrub.
3. Make the bathroom a kid friendly environment
Purchase some hand towels embossed with your child’s favourite cartoon character or animal and make your bathroom a kid-friendly zone. If you wish, purchase a little plant, which your child can water on the bathroom window as they wash their hands.
4. Show your enthusiasm
It goes without saying that you should practice what you preach. Make a point to wash your hands frequently in front of your children and explain that without regular hand-washing, germs can make them sick. Do not pressure you kids and try your best to make it a fun experience.
5. Pack handwipes in your child’s backpack
If your child is out and about at a football match or in school, it is not harm to pack some handwipes so that they can clean their hands before eating when they are not near a sink.