Children are inherently active and inquisitive; they love playing around outdoors, feeling their way through the world and getting their hands dirty. And while their love for exploration should be encouraged, so should certain practices to instill a sense of sanitation and maintain hygiene standards from a young age.
Sloppy sanitation can lead to a host of diseases if kids aren’t careful about cleanliness. Just a little awareness, a few simple practices and some smart tricks can help keep worrisome diseases caused by germs, viruses and bacteria at bay. Here are some key pointers to keep your children healthy.
First, it is key that children understand the importance of hygiene practices. Teach your children about the harmful effects of germs and viruses and the most likely ways in which they spread to and among humans so that they understand the need to take certain precautions. Teaching kids about the sources responsible for spreading disease - something as simple as touching money from an infected person’s hand or a doorknob at a doctor’s waiting room - can encourage them to be proactive in measures such as washing and sanitizing their hands after these events occur.
Always Use Soap
Your child may wash his hands regularly, but are they doing it the right way? In order to thoroughly eliminate the presence of germs, soap must be used, scrubbing for a good amount of time. Here’s how:
- Wet hands with clean water
- Apply soap, lathing and scrubbing for 20 seconds or more
- Rinse hands under clean water
Drink Clean Water
Drinking contaminated water is often the cause of illnesses such as dysentery, typhoid fever and diarrhea, which can take a toll on the body and involves weeks of recovery. When not at home, children should be advised to drink water from clean sources, such as in a trusted adult’s home or packaged unopened bottled water. Make them aware that contaminated water can be in the form of beverages such as mixed soft drinks as well. Also, drinking out of unclean cups, bottles and mugs can also lead to illness. Provide them with a water bottle filled with an adequate amount of clean drinking water for the duration of their time away from home.
Take Charge Of What You Can Control
When it comes to the spread of some diseases, there are things that go beyond our control. You may not always be able to keep a cold, cough or upset stomach at bay even with diligent hygiene standards - a small oversight could result in illness every once in a while. However, there are some contagious diseases that are easily preventable through proper immunization. Vaccine-preventable diseases such as chicken pox, measles, influenza, whooping cough, mumps and more can be contracted from infected persons and have serious complications and long-term consequences. It is therefore imperative that children and adults get timely vaccinations against these serious illnesses.
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