Good hygiene is important to everyone at every age. Good personal hygiene is not simply about being clean; it is about helping to prevent the spread of diseases. Teaching children the very basics of good hygiene is important in elementary school because it will help them develop positive, lifelong hygiene practices.
Let's Talk About Germs
Teaching children about germs is the first step in teaching them about proper personal hygiene habits. There are four main types of germs that can cause illnesses: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Germs are the main cause of colds, flus, viruses, upset stomach and rashes. Teaching children at an early age about where germs come from and the effect that germs have on their immune systems will help them understand how to prevent the spread of infections.
The best way to avoid getting sick is to wash your hands frequently and correctly. When you touch people and things throughout the day, germs collect on your hands. You can infect yourself when you touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when you have germs on your hands. It is impossible to keep your hands germfree at all times, but washing your hands frequently can sufficiently cut down on the transfer of germs from the environment into your body. You should always wash your hands before you eat, after touching a sick person, before touching a wound and before putting in contact lenses. The correct procedure for washing your hands is as follows: wet hands, apply soap, lather your hands well, rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds, then dry your hands.
Covering Mouth when Coughing or Sneezing
The particles that enter the air when you cough or sneeze can contain germs that cause colds, flus, or other illnesses. To help stop the spread of these germs, it is imperative to cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Make sure you place the tissue in a waste-paper basket when you have finished using it. Wash your hands immediately with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If you do not have a tissue, cough into your upper sleeve or elbow to avoid using your hands.