Good personal hygiene habits starts early. One of the first things we learn as children is how to wash our hands. We can use each day to introduce and remind young children about the importance of washing hands, especially with the Coronavirus on the rise. In fact, the number one way recommended to prevent the flu and other colds is by washing hand with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
To ensure healthy hygiene habits, teach your children to:
- Always wash their hands
- Sneeze or cough into their elbow
- Brush and floss their teeth every day
- Shower or bathe regularly
Although it sounds easy in theory, in practice it's not always easy teaching young children hygiene habits. To make these moments more enjoyable and memorable, pair them up with a few good songs and books for maximum connection.
Look for picture books to start the conversation about personal care with these Sniffles and Coughs recommended titles.
Best Practices to Remember for Hand Washing
Sing the song as many times in a row as you can while washing your hands in soap.
Encourage your child to wash their hands throughout the day:
- When they look or smell dirty or sticky
- Before eating food
- After touching animals
- After using the toilet
- Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- Handling garbage, touching the garbage can
- Coming home from the park, grocery store or other public space
Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for hand washing include following these five steps every time.
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
For more information, visit the CDC handwashing website
Sniffles and Coughs: Pictures Books About the Cold
Llama Llama Home with Mama by Anna Dewdney
Llama Llama is home sick with mama. How do they spend their day together?
Bob, Not Bob! by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon
When a young boy gets a cold, he just wants his mommy. But his stuffy nose makes it difficult for him to call out to his mom--not 'Bob,' who happens to be the family dog
How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? by Jane Yolen
This fun book describes the dos and don'ts of dealing with a cold in a fun way that children of all ages can relate to.