by Ila Asthana
How to educate kids about germs and their impact and how to prevent diseases.
Not the toys, dolls, castles, etc., which you have bought for them. The invisible dust filled with tiny microbes, germs, insects, etc., are the best playmate of every toddler. Children find them witty and are often ignorant about the impact of the same. The most amusing fact is, we were also just like them. With growing polluted conditions and the spread of unidentified new types of infections and diseases, it is a major responsibility of the parents to teach their kids about germs and their impact.
Yes! It’s a little abstract subject, since the child cannot see or touch the germs. There is always a question on what to focus while teaching them. Whether to focus on actions behind hygiene, or teaching them about what and where they are found and how they impact. Let’s find out how to make these abstract concepts into an interesting and fun-filled knowledge imparting process for the child. A few commonly used thoughts and suggestions to give you an insight to teach your toddler about germs.
1. Start Small:
Open this chapter of talk, when they are at a very young age. Offer them a simplified layman language of explanations about germs, such as ‘Germs are tiny bugs that live in all things. If they come inside your body, you might feel sick. When you are sick, you cannot have fun’. Connect to the child’s emotional chord to make them relate to the concept.
2. Elucidate or Share an Example:
Give them an insight into how they could avoid the germs getting into their body and falling sick. Example: Sneezing or coughing with a kerchief /tissue in hand, washing the hands completely after blowing the nose, use of hand sanitizer, etc. Make sure these basic principles to keep themselves hygienic is correctly rooted in them.
3. A Hygiene Pattern:
Setting up a hygiene pattern and practicing the same is vital. A regular system in place: for example, brushing the teeth as soon as they wake up and just before the bed, bathing before they step out of the house, keeping them clean and tidy all the time etc., would be a great way of making this a habit in your child’s life. For a kid, this might be a huge tassel of work. But if you make it a fun-filled ride and do it together, it becomes easy and fascinating for the child to take it up.
Find out more about how to maintain hygiene. Here is a mom’s guide to good hygiene!
4. Use of Visual or Interactive Resource:
More than just talking, you can also show interesting videos and picture art, about how germs affect the human body and how one can protect themselves from the same. Animated videos make the subject more realistic.
Teaching your child about personal grooming and taking care of oneself is very important. You can also include this subject of germs in personal grooming. You can add an excitement to this thought, by buying them something they are eager about, such as favorite toothpaste flavor, a super uber cool toothbrush, or customized soap. These fun features make them more engaged and involved with the thoughts and they are more delighted and happy to implement the thoughts.
6. Play Day & Group Session:
Get all your child’s friends together or create a small group of toddlers in your neighborhood. Talk to them about germs, show them animated story and videos about germs. Ask them what they think about germs. Describe to them how germs can impact their body and how they can avoid the same. Get them involved. You can see the changes by yourself.
7. Aid from Experts:
As parents, we might not know how to introduce this topic to our child. We might be confused and baffled. Talk to child specialists, pediatricians, doctors, teachers, etc., and seek help from the experts. They are the specialists who handle children of different personalities. They would certainly help you get you off your block.
Hygiene is not just a subject of knowledge or learning. It is a way of lifestyle. Make it a valuable habit in your child’s life. Show them the path of healthy, hygienic life. Start today, if you still haven’t.