Good habits to prevent bad germs
For many of us as adults, taking care of ourselves might be second nature, but for children, healthy habits need to be taught and learned. One of the benefits of teaching children how to practice healthy living is that it can help prevent germs from spreading, reduce their chances of exposure to illnesses and equip them for a lifetime with the good habit of being hygiene conscious.
An easy good habit to teach children is how to properly wash their hands using the following steps:
- Turn on water and get hands wet
- Take your hands out of the water, put some soap on it
- With your hands out of the water, scrub them together while counting to 20 or singing the "Happy Birthday" song twice
- Rinse your hands under water to get all the soap and dirt off
- Dry your hands using a paper towel
- Turn off the tap as well using a paper towel so you don't get germs back on your nice clean hands!
- Using this activity can help your child better understand how germs are spread. Try this fun activity to illustrate
Activity - Pass The Germ
Materials needed: washable paint or mud or chalk or stew, an item to pass around.
Start by explaining to your child that germs can enter into our bodies through our eyes, noses and mouths, and can pass from person to person when someone coughs, sneezes or by touching something with your hands. Ask your child to identify these different body parts by pointing to their own bodies.
To help your child visualize the movement of germs, coat his or her previously washed hands using a staining substance (this will be the ‘pretend germ’).
Then encourage your child to interact with you, their siblings or friends by picking an item to pass around, like a ball.
Once passed around, have everyone check their hands and surfaces for ‘pretend germs’. How have the germs spread?
Finally, remind your child that this is why we do things like, washing our hands, coughing into our elbows and sneezing into a tissue.