Twenty-Second Rule: Teaching Your Kids to Wash Their Hands to Curb the Spread of the Coronavirus
If you’re a mum, you already know the importance of teaching your kids good hygiene habits from a young age. The global Coronavirus pandemic has shown us just how essential it is to prevent the spread of germs and disease by taking extra care to keep your hands clean, with a compulsory twenty-second washing time.
Are Kids Little Virus Vehicles?
A social contact is a conversation between two people within a physical distance of 2 metres or less. Children have significantly more social contacts per day, causing them to have a much higher capacity to transmit a virus. They are also far more tactile than adults, sharing toys and engaging with objects in public spaces. As a result, it is of the utmost importance that their hands are thoroughly cleaned at every opportunity.
Why Twenty Seconds?
Twenty seconds is the optimal, scientifically-proven washing period to rid the hands of any pesky germs or viruses that may be tagging along. You’re likely to have heard that that’s the time it takes to sing the alphabet, or hum the tune to Happy Birthday twice.
According to the World Health Organisation’s research, twenty seconds is the time required for warm water and soap to clear the little nooks and crannies of your hands of any unwanted substances. Let your little one cover their hands in paint or dirt and see how long it takes to get them clean – this is how long it takes to get rid of unseen particles too.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be in the room every time your child scrubs up, so investing in a timed soap dispenser is a great way to make sure all the dirt is washed away every time. Involving a timer also turns the chore into a game your child will look forward to.
Can we sanitize instead?
Provided that the sanitizing product in question has an alcohol content of 70% or more, this is a good solution when you’re on the go. However, nothing beats soap and warm water when it comes to cleaning the full surface area of your child’s hands. The coronavirus in particular, consists of protein and fat, which can’t be broken down by water alone. Soap molecules dissolve the fatty coating, and the water washes it down the sink. A high quality sanitizer can serve the same purpose, but dirt and sweat can create barriers that allow the virus to continue clinging to the skin.
Healthy Habits, Healthy Lives
The pandemic has brought hygiene to the front of our minds, but these habits of cleanliness are so important to integrate into our lifestyles. Help your children to develop healthy habits early on and rest easy knowing that they are likely to carry these into adulthood, leading long and happy lives. Why not start with thorough hand-washing?