Your kid’s health is as much their responsibility as it is yours
As a parent you will take a lot of responsibility on your shoulders but without teaching kids about hygiene how will they know that to do as they grow up? Simple personal hygiene points such as ensuring they wash their hands after going to the toilet and how to wash themselves in a bath or shower, are simply easy things for them to take control of themselves.
Teaching kids about germs is easy… and can be fun
When it comes to teaching kids about germs, it is so important to just strip it back and go back to basics. Depending on the age of your kids the approach you take will be slightly different.
- For younger kids: Explaining that germs are little bugs that live on things and can sometimes make you ill is all they will need to know.
- For older kids: You can explain the difference between bacteria and viruses, and in so doing teach them about why we are able to take antibiotics for some, but not all, illnesses.
Whatever ages your kids are, growing germs is one of the best ways to teach your kids about them and make it fun in the process. The bread experiment is an easy way to do this. All you need is:
- Two slices of brown bread
- Zip lock sandwich bag for each slice of bread – label one “washed” and the other “unwashed”
- A spray bottle
This experiment works best after your kids have been outdoor, especially if they have been in a playground or somewhere equally dirty. The steps to follow are simple:
- Ask your kids to brush off visible dirt from their hands and allow them to handle one of the slices of bread, before placing it in the bag marked, “unwashed”.
- Now get your kids to wash their hands, a product such as Lifebuoy soap will work best as it gives a 99.9% germ protection in just ten seconds.
- After they have washed their hands thoroughly, allow them to handle the second slice of bread and place it into the bag marked, “washed”.
- Before you zip the bags closed, ask your kids to use the spray bottle to add a little moisture to each slice of bread.
- Zip the bags closed and place them on a shelf or inside a cupboard out of reach of your kids.
- Every couple of days check your bags and get your kids to see which one starts to grow mould the quickest.
When it comes to personal hygiene for kids, be sure to not go overboard
As important as it may be to teach good hygiene for kids, for example ensuring they wash their hands after going to the toilet, washing and cleaning too often can actually backfire.
Over-washing can cause skin to become broken which in turn may allow bacteria to get into your body. Not only this, but it is likely to wash away any good bacteria that you and your kids need to stay healthy. The over use of anti-bacterial cleaning products can also lead to antibiotic resistant illnesses.
So, whether you are planning fun experiments as a way to help you when you are teaching kids about germs or making sure you teach them the basics of personal hygiene for kids you job as a parent is to teach them the best ways to look after themselves and their health which will set them up well for life.