Come winter and rainy season, we all tend to pack our children warm with sweaters and scarves and prepare for sniffles. So there’s no better time for Global Hand Washing Day to come around.
It’s but common for children to pout and say sorry or give you that do-away-with-it giggle when you’ve asked them if they’ve washed their hands before eating, after using the bathroom, or when they’ve come back from playing.
But remember it’s a message worth repeating, considering that most of the common infections – including the flu – spread through dirty hands. Hand washing is the dogma to prevent the spread of germs and dodge illness.
Did you know that handwashing is also important for a child’s nutritional status? As surprising as it may sound, it’s very simple to understand why. Good nutrition is not just about eating good food but also depends on the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients in the food. Germs (bacteria, viruses, or parasites) damage the lining of the gut thereby affecting effective nutrient absorption.
Negligence of proper handwashing and hygiene makes children prone to infections like the flu and pneumonia. They suffer from diarrhea, nutrient deficiencies and so on. This has an adverse impact on optimal growth and development and can at times be fatal.
Teach your children how to scrub those germs away. The illustration below gives you an idea of the steps involved in handwashing.
Set a handwashing rule especially:
- Before and after eating
- After using the bathroom
- After touching pets
- Before and after visiting any sick friends or relatives
- After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After being outside (playing, gardening, walking the dog, etc.)
So raise your hand for hygiene and make your kid a handwashing champ!
PS: If handwashing isn’t possible, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. But remember the use of a sanitizer does not substitute for handwashing.