Hand Washing_large

Teaching children the importance of proper hand washing will help prevent diseases and germs from creeping into the household. It not only creates a healthier lifestyle for them but also produces a safer environment for you.

Hands carry germs and easily spread the bacteria that lead to the common cold, flu, foodborne illness, and other issues. Yet the simple act of hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of viral and bacterial infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Parents often miss work to care for a sick child. The CDC found losses in productivity related to personal health problems as well as the health of family members costs U.S. employers $1,685 per employee each year (or $225.8 billion annually).

In honor of Global Handwashing Day today, SCA launched a new tablet app to encourage young children to wash their hands. Ella’s Handwashing Adventure provides a fun way to minimize infections and make life easier for parents and teachers.  A recent survey by SCA found:

•    Caring for sick children causes stress to 8 out of 10 parents
•    82 percent of parents believe that their family’s sick leave could be reduced if there was better hand hygiene at their children’s pre-school/school/day-care
•    90 percent think it is important that children learn good hygiene at pre-school/school/day-care
•    40 percent of parents don’t know what procedures their kids’ pre-school/school/day-care has in place for hand hygiene
•    Nearly 3 out of 4 of the parents surveyed believe using playful and educational games to educate children would improve their hygiene, and nearly half believe that school staff would benefit from teaching aids that help children learn about hygiene in a fun way

Ella’s Handwashing Adventure allows children to explore and learn in two different environments by clicking objects and characters. As you help your child understand the importance of hand hygiene, here are 5 additional tips from the City of Columbus to make handwashing easier for children.
•    Supervise their handwashing after they use the toilet and before they eat
•    Let them see you wash your hands throughout the day and wash your hands with them
    Put handwashing reminders at their eye level
    Every time they wash their hands, reward them until it is a habit
•    Keep a stool by the sink so that they can reach easily

For more ways to keep your household healthy, click here.