Teaching kids to wash their hands regularly, ensure they brush their teeth twice a day and make sure they cover their mouths when they cough, isn’t always easy. We spoke to Dr. Ashraf Allam, regional vice president at Mundipharma Middle East and Africa, for some tips on how kids can maintain proper hygiene at school.
Make hygiene fun and exciting
Kids are likely to adopt hygienic habits if they enjoy doing them. Through co-circular activities and inter-house competitions conducted in schools, the importance of hygiene can be conveyed in a fun and competitive manner. This can help keep them healthy.
Hand-washing is a must!
Hand washing is an integral aspect of good hygiene.
To eliminate contracting germs after playing outside or when in close contact with animals or someone who might be ill, it is essential to teach your kids to wash their hands thoroughly.
Remember to let students and/or classmates understand the importance of scrubbing their hands with antiseptic cleansers, especially after using the washroom.
Grooming their fingernails
Fingernails are a breeding ground for bacteria. The germs that live under a child’s nails are easily transferred to their eyes, nose, and mouth. Ensure that students fingernails are clipped every week and reduce the possibility of painful ingrown nails.
Proper brushing and flossing is a learned skill that can only be improved by practice. This type of oral hygiene needs to be instilled in students at an early age.
Advise your children to brush their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, to prevent gum diseases and tooth decay.
Handkerchief is their best friend!
A handkerchief should be a child’s best friend. Children should be taught to cover their mouth and face, using either a handkerchief or a tissue, while coughing and/or sneezing. Used tissues should be properly disposed and not left around.
Keeping toys in the playroom germ – free!
A child’s favourite stuffed toy or blanket may carry germs and therefore should be regularly washed. Other toys could be wiped with a sanitizer and then allowed to air dry.
Cleaning of classroom furniture
Regular cleaning of classroom furniture will ensure a bug-free learning and teaching environment. Classrooms must be vacuumed and moped every day in order to prevent rodents.
Sweaty feet, also known as athlete’s foot can cause fungal infection. Advice your students to use cotton-lined socks instead of ones that are made of synthetic fibers along with wearing leather and canvas shoes, allowing their feet to breathe.
Dealing with illness
Advise children to only attend school if they are well enough to benefit and participate.
This will reduce any chance of illness spreading.
Stop bad habits
Remind students of the importance of practicing good hygiene. Explain that, although germs may not be visibly present, they are still found in air particles and can make them sick. Connect hygiene to illness by reminding them of the last time they were ill.