Protect your kid from germs ― wash hands

Diarrhoea, flu, the dreaded HFMD ― save your child from illness by teaching him to wash his hands properly.


Did you know simple hand washing can reduce cases of diarrhoea by up to 45 per cent? The Health Promotion Board Singapore says that when children wash their hands thoroughly — usually the first line of defence against the spread of many diseases — the rate of infection is reduced significantly. Yes, it’s that simple.

Your hands can have about 5,000 germs at any given time. Though most of us believe that cold germs are spread through sneezing and coughing, illnesses are spread mostly through hand-to-hand contact and the transfer of germs. So, washing your hands is the single most effective way to prevent germs from spreading.

          And you don’t need fancy antibacterial soap either — it’s perfectly fine to wash with soap and running water. If you happen to have antibiotic washes, that’s an added layer of protection.

Notes Dr Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious disease specialist at Rophi Clinic, “The hand hygiene taught in hospitals is good. Some parents do a song and dance to teach the hand wash procedure.”       

You could use any tune that lasts over 30 seconds, but the HPB has whipped up a song and video to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It (Clap Your Hands):

It’s fun to wash your hands

And we know you’ll understand

So we washy washy clean scrub scrub

We start with washing palm to palm

Between each finger let us rub

Now the back of the hands, it’s such a simple plan

We washy washy clean scrub scrub

Clean the base of the thumbs one-by-one

Then the back of the fingers — this is fun!

Don’t forget the fingernails, it’s about details

We washy washy clean scrub scrub

Now move on to the wrists, let us rub

I think we’re nearly done so now what?

Just rinse the soap away, dry our hands and we’re okay

We washy washy clean scrub scrub

Turn the page to find out how and when to wash your hands…


Photo: iStock