You never know where your children have been and what they have
been up to till you see their hands. Toddlers tend to collect germs on their hands from a variety of
sources – contaminated surfaces, foods, even animals and animal waste. If they don’t wash their
hands frequently enough, there is a strong chance they may get infected themselves and spread these
germs to others.
Here are some of the infectious diseases commonly spread through
- The common cold
gastrointestinal disorders, including infectious diarrhea
Teaching toddlers good
hand-washing skills is a vital part of their grooming. Moreover, it teaches them to take care of
Follow these steps to help maintain good hygiene in your
- STEP 1: Be a role model. Wash your hands
and your toddlers’ hands at the same time. Make sure they see you washing your hands after going to
the bathroom or when you come in from outside. This may improve your health as well.
- STEP 2: Talk about it. Toddlers often don’t
follow what’s good and what’s bad. So say things like, “Look at all this dirt on my hands. I should
wash that off.”
- STEP 3: Make observations. Show
your children how other people wash their hands. For example, doctors wash their hands before
touching your child during a checkup. Point this out the next time your toddler gets a checkup.
- STEP 4: Turn hand-washing into a routine. Wash
your hands before every meal and do it everyday. The act of washing up is bound to become second
nature to your children.
- STEP 5: Make it easy for
your children to reach the sink. Place a stool near a low sink for your toddlers.
- STEP 6: Let them play. Play nurtures learning. Allow your children
to pretend-wash their toys and figurines at the sink.
It is also helpful to buy
special cool soaps made for kids to encourage hand washing. Teach your children about the difference
between hot and cold water and how to operate the faucets when required.