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The Importance of Making Handwashing a Habit for Children

Let’s face it: as adorable as kids are, they’re undeniably germ magnets. They love to explore, get into anything and everything, and typically use their hands as their initial point of contact. While handwashing has always been an important habit to teach our children, it’s become even more essential since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Getting your kids to consistently wash their hands, however, can be a real battle. They’ll gladly stick their hands in dirty and slime, but when it comes time to wash with soap and water—nope, not going to happen!

 

Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’re going to share helpful tips for creating a daily handwashing routine that will keep your little ones safe and healthy during the pandemic and beyond. Let’s start by reviewing why handwashing is such an important habit to teach our children.

 

Why is handwashing important?

A whopping 80 percent of common infections are spread by hands. This isn’t too surprising when you think about it—people touch hundreds of surfaces a day, each containing potentially infectious bacteria, viruses, yeasts, and molds.

 

On top of that, spreading infections is easier than you may think. One study showed that contamination of a single doorknob can spread a virus to 40-60 percent of people in an office within just two to four hours. Yikes!

Kids are even more vulnerable than adults, as they like to touch just about everything and typically don’t have the awareness that adults have to not touch their faces.

When children don’t regularly wash their hands, germs can get into their bodies through their eyes, nose, and mouth. Additionally, unwashed hands can contaminate food, drinks, surfaces, and objects, putting other people at risk of infection.

It can help to explain this to your children in simple terms, telling them that handwashing gets rid of all those nasty germs that can make them and the people around them sick.

 

When should children wash their hands?

You can help protect your children (and others around them) by encouraging them to wash their hands often, especially during these key times when germs are more likely to be picked up and spread: 

  • Before and after eating or preparing food
  • Before and after interacting with someone who is sick
  • After using the bathroom
  • After being outdoors or with other children
  • After coming home from school or a play date
  • After blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching animals (including pets) and animal food
  • After touching garbage
  • Any time their hands visibly appear dirty

How to create healthy handwashing habits

Now, the tricky part: how do you actually get your kids to wash their hands without a fuss? That’s where SPLATZ™ Naturally Fun Hand Soap comes in—a fun, sensory hand soap that comes in small, bursting, biodegradable bubbles. When kids squeeze the bubbles, they literally SPLAT, dispensing the perfect amount of natural soap into their hands.

 Here are our top tips for creating healthy handwashing habits using SPLATZ!

 

  1. Let them pick what color/scent they want to use

Kids are naturally drawn to bright colors and things that smell good. That’s why that plain, boring bar of white soap doesn’t have them running to the sink to wash their hands. SPLATZ, on the other hand, comes in turquoise, pink, and green bubbles, each with a unique, alluring scent. When it’s time for handwashing, allow your child to pick which scent and/or color they want to use. Letting them pick gives them a sense of control over the situation and makes them feel excited about using the color and scent they choose.

 

  1. Place SPLATZ by every sink

 Place a container of SPLATZ by every sink in your house, including the kitchen sink, bathroom sinks, and any other sinks you may have in your house. Having the soap visible and located right next to the faucet will encourage and remind kids to wash their hands throughout the day, especially before meals and at bedtime. With SPLATZ by the sink, 80% parents reported better handwashing habits. Parents said that they didn’t have to remind their kids to wash their hands as much, we call this a win-win for all parties.

 

  1. Put a SPLATZ sticker, decal or magnet in the entryway

When you’re kids get home from school or the ball field, this will serve as a reminder to your children to wash their hands when they enter the house.

 

  1. Sing a song 

Kids (and adults) should wash their hands for 20 seconds to get all the germs off. Some kids enjoy singing a song while they wash. Pick a song that’s around 20 seconds long, so that when they’re done singing, they’ll know they washed their hands for the correct amount of time. “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat” and “Happy Birthday” are good ones, or help them make up their own fun song. The “SPLAT, SPLAT, SPLAT” song, perhaps?

 

The bottom line

The key to handwashing success is to make the process a fun habit. If a child develops a handwashing routine at home, they’re more likely to continue it at school, friends’ houses, or in public. If this sounds like a tall order—take heart. With SPLATZ, kids actually beg to wash their hands! The little soap bubbles are irresistible to them and truly change the way kids think about washing their hands. 

 

 

References:

http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/prevention-public-health/hand-hygiene#:~:text=Eighty%20percent%20of%20common%20infections,of%20infectious%20diseases%20to%20others.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140908093640.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html

 

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