In the current health pandemic, hygiene has never been more important than it is today. While children have the lowest risks of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19, they can potentially be carriers of the virus and the best way to stop the spread? HYGIENE. At Child’s Play ELC, we are proud to say that our centres have always met or exceeded the National Quality Standard of Hygiene Practices in a Childcare Environment. So here are the best ways to continue practicing good hygiene when your child is at home with you.

Hand Washing

Kids are curious and as educators and parents, we cannot control everything they touch, this is why hand washing is always encouraged. Hand washing is considered the most common and most effective way to stop the spread of germs. It is recommended that you and your child wash your hands:

  • After using the toilet.
  • Before and after eating or preparing food.
  • After coughing or sneezing.
  • After touching your beloved animal.

We know that your child may become slightly resistant to wanting to wash their hands (and you may be tired of singing Happy Birthday with them) but there are lots of ways to keep hand washing entertaining. For example, change up the song each day, there are many different child appropriate songs and nursery rhymes that are 20-30 seconds long that you can teach your child while encouraging them to wash their hands. Fun Tip: you can even teach them songs from when you were growing up like Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey or Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond. Another fun way you can encourage hand washing if your child is a little bit older is spraying glitter onto their hands; we know this may seem counterintuitive but let them play with glitter on their hands and then let them see where all the glitter has ended up between hand washes, chances are they will be more willing to wash their hands and help out with the dishes more. It can also show them how many places they touch as glitter comes off (although may take a little while to clean up afterwards!).

Coughing and Sneezing

When a child is coughing and sneezing it is most important that they learn good hygiene practices. If they need to sneeze, remind them to grab tissues and blow into their nose however if a tissue isn’t present show them how to sneeze into their elbow and away from other people. When your child wants to cough make sure to show them how to cough into their armpit, turning away from potentially coughing onto people. You can even explain to them why we do this and why this is important during the winter months. After coughing and sneezing you should also reiterate the importance of washing their hands to stop the spread of germs. Remember when your young child practices these preventative measures it is also important to praise them with “good job” or “well done” so that they know they have done the right thing and will continue this measure in the future.

Additional Techniques

  • Bathing as a part of the Bedtime Routine: This is probably already a part of your daily routine but making sure that you bathe your child every day and wash away all of the dirt from childcare or outside will help ensure they stay healthy.
  • Cooking and Eating Hygiene: Encourage your child to rinse, wash or place dishes in the dishwasher after cooking and eating. This will further help them understand germs and will hopefully become a common practice even after isolation.

Things to Remember

It is not only important that we show and educate our children on how to stop the spread of germs but that we also practice what we preach. Children want to feel like they are being treated like a “big person” and will often adopt and copy what adults do!

Children are curious and will ask questions, so when showing them these hygiene practices make sure to explain why and how these practices are effective.

Most importantly though, have fun with these practices. Children are stimulated by new and exciting ways to perform everyday activities,  and if you want to find out more about how to implement fun into hygiene routines get in contact with one of our educators.