Children are more inclined to fall sick than adults, the reason being that children are in close contact with other children at daycare, school or home where germs are easily transmitted.
Unfortunately, most children are not conscious of personal hygiene as they should be, which increases their risk of illness.
There is more to hygiene than just washing hands. Schools can also provide an arena where good hygiene can be shown at its best and habits such as hand washing can become ingrained at a young age.
Dr. Ashraf Allam, Regional Vice President, Mundipharma Middle East and Africa region, shares his tips on how children can maintain proper hygiene at school using these simple steps:
TIP 1: MAKE HYGIENE FUN AND EXCITING
Kids are likely to adopt hygienic habits if they enjoy doing them. Through co-curricular activities and inter-house competitions conducted in schools, the importance of hygiene can be conveyed in a fun and competitive manner.
TIP 2: 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 kids to wash their hands thoroughly and scrubbing their hands with antiseptic cleansers, especially after using the washroom.
TIP 3: 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.
TIP 4: ORAL HYGIENE
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.
TIP 5: 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.
TIP 6: KEEPING TOYS IN THE PLAYROOM GERM-FREE
A child's favorite stuffed toy or blanket may carry germs. Make sure it is washed with other toys regularly.
TIP 7: CLEANING OF CLASSROOM FURNITURE
Regular cleaning of classroom furniture will ensure a bug-free learning and teaching environment. Classrooms must be vacuumed and mopped every day.
TIP 8: FOOT HYGIENE
Sweaty feet, also known as athlete's foot, can cause fungal infection. Kids should use cotton-lined socks instead of synthetic fibers along with leather and canvas shoes to allow feet to breathe.
TIP 9: DEALING WITH ILLNESS
Children should only attend school if they are well enough to benefit and participate. This will also reduce the chance of illness spreading.
TIP 10: STOP BAD HABITS
Remind kids 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.