Why parents need to bring hand hygiene home

parents hand hygiene

Why parents need to bring hand hygiene home

As parents, you all know that there’s a phase when young children seem to have a perpetual cold, at least in winter and it’s so easy to ‘blame’ nurseries, kindergartens, play areas, schools.

There can be a tendency to expect our educators and carers to provide all the hand hygiene instruction and we certainly expect them to encourage top class practice.  Indeed we’d be up in arms if we thought they weren’t.

But do we, as parents, practice great hand hygiene at home and do we demonstrate to our youngsters that it is the ‘normal’ not just for away from home?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all work together to reduce the perpetual cold and worse ‘doing the rounds’


So what’s the solution?

Just simple hand hygiene. Bolster that with a ready supply of tissues, to teach children to ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’, (or to sneeze into their arm, not their hands if tissues aren’t to hand) and the fight is on.

The best way to impress this on young children is to make sure that we, as parents, follow good hand hygiene too: it only takes 20 seconds…

Good hand hygiene

This reminder might seem unnecessary, but surveys show that up to 95% of us don’t wash our hands sufficiently well to kill bacteria. So please read on…

  1. First wet your hands then apply soap (soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizer at killing bugs).
  2. Next rub your palms together and work up a lather; use one hand to rub the back of the other hand, and clean in between the fingers, then reverse.
  3. You then need to rub your hands together and clean in between the fingers again, this time palm to palm before cleaning the ends of your fingers in your palms.
  4. Lastly, rub each thumb in the opposite hand, then rub the tips of your fingers in the palm of your other hand before you rinse off the soap and dry your hands thoroughly, preferably with a hand drier or clean hand towel.

‘Simples’, as the Meercat says. Remember, practice makes perfect – your children will copy what you do, not do what you say!

There’s another upside too: fewer colds will mean less juggling between child care and work commitments.