Kids are their own worst enemies when it comes to flu season. Having clean hands is the best deterrent. Unfortunately, kids and clean hands do not mix well!
Children (at any age) touch everything in sight. The youngger they are the easier access they have to the most disgusting and germ infested surfaces, eg, underneath tables, shoes, trash cans, and worst of all for our little crawlers … the dreaded floor! If touching these grimy surfaces is not gross enough. The very next thing they do is take a fistful of fingers and shove them in their mouth!
This is how our kids get sick all the time. The germs from their fingers either go in the mouth or eyes where the virus can get access into their bodies. If your child is potty trained, more than likely they can wash their own hands, but the problem is they are often too distracted to even consider washing their hands. They do not care, do not understand, and most of all, they do not want to stop playing.
We want to create a good habit in our children of washing their hands. The best way to create a habit for children is to make it a fun activity.
How do we make hand washing fun? Here are a few examples to get you started:
– Candy works! Tell your child that every time they wash their hands they get a piece of their favorite candy. Make it a double whammy by having the "candy" be those little children vitamins (Flintstones or those fun gummies work well).
– For the older ones. Make it a competition and give a prize to the winner (works well with multiple kids). Tell your children every time they wash their hands they get a point. Whoever reaches the predetermined points first gets a prize (favorite food, dollar store toy, candy). If they are really active and playing, once or twice an hour is good and at the end of the day tally the points.
– If your child is old enough teach them about germs in a fun way. One method I've heard is to get some baby powder and put it on your kids hands. Tell them to walk around and touch some stuff (MESSY! You're saying to yourself. Of course! This will help make the lesson memorable. Relax, it washes off.) After some time, tell your child to look around and see all the white! This is how you show them that our germs get on everything!
-To make the actual hand washing process more fun. Try the new foamy soap you can get at any store. Kids LOVE to make the foam. Sometimes they'll stand there for a long time just playing in the sink with the soap. What a great place to play!
-To really make it fun get a "Soapy Automatic Soap Dispenser". This works great for moms and kids. "Soapy" has a sensor that, when activated, will dispense a pre-measured amount of soap. This often makes the kids stick around the sink to wash their hands as well. It also makes it a fun time instead of the bore it usually is.
"Soapy" also helps the moms out there with babies. Tired of the balancing act of holding your baby and squeezing the soap dispenser? With an automatic soap dispenser you just put your babies hand under the dispenser and it's a done deal, no more balancing act! What a great idea.
Whichever method you come up with, help your children by creating good hygiene practices. Clean hands are essential to protecting your little ones from the dreaded flu and other virus'.