“Wash your hands!”—- It’s a well-worn phrase that I find myself saying at least a dozen times a day, and one that I hear repeated by other moms too or may be a few times more than me. Kids don’t always listen when parents tell them to wash their hands before eating, after using the bathroom, or when they come inside from playing. But it’s a message worth repeating — hand washing is by far the best way to prevent germs from spreading and to keep kids from getting sick.
Good hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses — from the common cold to more serious infections and most types of infectious diarrhea.
With so many hand sanitizers, hand washing liquids, soaps being advertised, it’s comforting to know that so many people appear to be so aware of the need to stop the spread of germs and increase personal hygiene, but one big question still remains:
Are kids washing hands correctly? Does my preschooler even know how to really wash his hands the right way?
One thing I noted in primary schools is, slates and chalks still find their place in preschools and daycares not only in rural areas but in urban cities too. Since little ones tend to get attracted by their first exposure to writing, chalk does hold an important place in their early learning. Handling chalks as their day to day school activity, children however times insisted, tend to forget either out of ignorance or out of enthusiasm, to wash hands thoroughly with soap before eating.
Children are facing a lot of health related problems due to the lack of proper knowledge about hand washing. The biggest barrier in hand washing is not always the availability of water, but rather the knowledge. Making the connection between the dirty hands and the disease is the first step. Although kids wash their hands with water, very few are exposed and educated to use soaps/ cleansers. Washing hands with water alone is not enough to get rid of germs- a soap /cleanser is necessary. It is the single most cost-effective, life saving intervention to have healthy children. Encouraging such hand washing habits among primary school children will eventually reduce their illness frequency and sometimes to nil in the long run.
As a doting mother of a toddler who has just stepped into his preschool, I felt the real need and knowledge of proper hand washing. With my elder daughter, when she was a toddler (who is now 9 yrs ), I happened to face health issues relating to dust allergy which eventually led to severe wheezing in her. And chalk dust was one of the causes for her allergic cough leading to wheezing. With that prior bitter experience, now, with my second one, I am doubly cautious and concerned about his health. I see to that he washes his hands properly with soap and especially when he has finished with using chalk. I feel playschools play a very important role in teaching kids to wash their hands properly after using chalks because that is every child’s first ever learning platform.
Being internet savvy, I surf on online platforms for parenting articles and blogs related to child health and nutrition. And on one such occasion when I was searching on the online media about healthy sanitation procedures for kids, I came across Savlon’s (ITC) ‘Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks’ through their official promotional video.
Savlon (ITC) as part of ‘Swasth India Mission ‘ has introduced ‘Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks ‘for children, especially for primary school children where chalks are widely used as a tool for teaching. Soap and water is the most effective way to clean hands but these unique chalk sticks give alternative solutions even without soap! Yes! You read it right. These are unique set of chalk sticks infused with cleansers like soap. This is where the ‘Healthy Hand Chalk Sticks’ comes in to action. The chalk powder left on their hands acts like soap and generates lather as soon as they place it under water. This unique experience will educate children the importance of cleaning with cleansers.
Any behavioral change among children that is induced in a fun way will be memorable. Children tend to take lessons learned at school to everyone they resonate with, which is much needed in the area of sanitation.
check out the link below to witness the uniqueness of Savlon’s ‘Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks’ in the world of primary school children and their experience with the chalk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVWUlWEfJ1k