Icky Germs – Teaching Kids Proper Hand Hygiene


A child’s mind is like a sponge; it absorbs everything they hear and see. This is great when teaching them to tie their shoes, brush their teeth, and avoid dangerous things.

But, what about what they can’t see, like germs?

Some schools and teachers have shown creative ways to teach children that hand washing is an important step against germ and illness spreading. For example, some have children cover their hands in lotion and then glitter to show that warm water with soap will remove the “glitter germs.”

Another school used UV lights and a special lotion to show glow-in-the-dark residue on the children’s hands and toys to demonstrate the spread of germs. Others have stamped children’s hands with a picture of a cartoon germ to remind them that they can make a temporary home on their hands.

Elementary students contract 8 to 10 colds each year, claiming 22 million school days a year. Bacteria hot spots in schools are where you’d most expect them – cafeteria tables and chairs, restroom sink areas and faucet handles, doorknobs, and drinking fountains to name a few. Be sure to discuss hand hygiene and infection control with your child’s teacher to make sure cleanliness and germs are included in their lesson plan and school policies.

EXTRA CREDIT: Earn a gold star from your child’s teacher with our FREE hand washing poster.

To learn more about healthy schools and what you or your school can do to help reduce days lost due to infection, read more here.

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