This simple, but effective way to demonstrate why cleaning hands is important, is perfect for encouraging children to be healthy handwashers. Try putting some hand lotion on your own hands and then sprinkle a small amount of glitter into the palm of one of your hands. Pretend the glitter is “germs” and explain to your child that germs spread illness. Now gently press both of your palms together and show your child how the glitter “germs” are now on both of your hands. Next put your hand on top of one of your child’s hands and show them how the glitter “germs” can move from one person to another if they don’t wash their hands.
- Make sure that there is a wash hand basin in the house that your child can reach. Using a safety step with a non-slip bottom is the best way to help your child get into the habit of washing their hands.
- Having a refillable pump bottle for the soap will save money in the long run and you can buy a cheap plain plastic bottle that they can decorate with their favourite character stickers to make it more fun. Teach them that one pump of soap is enough.
- Make sure the water can’t get too hot. Warm water for washing hands is best. Encourage them to make up a “washing hands” song to make sure that they are wetting and soaping their hands properly, washing between fingers and under fingernails and then rinsing all of the dirty soap away.
- Have a clean towel nearby, again that is easy for them to reach. Towels shouldn’t be used if they are damp so you might find it better to show your child how to use one sheet of paper towel to pat their hands dry.
- If your child has any skin issues such as eczema show them how to apply a little lotion once their hands are clean. A refillable pump bottle can be a great saver again for this.