Hygiene Habits that Kids should Observe to Avoid COVID-19

by Gowthamy Alagiri, March 24, 2020

The novel coronavirus or Covid-19 has taken the whole world by storm. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it to be a pandemic and urged all countries to take adequate steps to stop the spread of this contagion. Till now, there has been more than 3 lakh confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide and about 13 thousand fatalities. The epicentre of this virus has now shifted to Europe, or more specifically Italy, where doctor, nurses and other medical staff are on a war footing to control this virus.

In India too, the government had implemented several preventive measures against coronavirus disease in the early stages, such as – 

  • thermal screening at all international airports

  • 14-day quarantine for all individuals returning from abroad

  • limiting travel to other countries by suspending visas

However, despite these measures, the number of positive cases is on the rise. Maharashtra has become the epicentre of this coronavirus infection in India. According to the latest coronavirus update in India, there are 329 active Covid-2019 cases, and the death toll has gone up to 7. It has forced the central and state governments to enforce more stringent steps which include – 

  • shutting down schools, colleges and universities

  • asking all private-sector employees to stay at home or work from home if possible.

  • Closing all business except emergency and essential services

  • Restriction on all non-essential passenger transport. However, goods trains have been exempted from this list.

According to WHO, coronavirus can affect individuals of all ages. However, older people and people with pre-existing medical issues are more susceptible to it. Nonetheless, even if there are low chances for children to get infected with coronavirus disease, they can still be carriers of the virus. 

Also, at this point, no coronavirus vaccine has been discovered. So, in this situation, precaution seems to be the only cure.  Therefore, you as a parent need to teach your kids some essential personal hygiene habits which will reduce the risk of getting infected. 

Some of the hygiene habits that kids need to observe to avoid Covid-19 are – 

Washing hands with soap and water often – In the case of young children, unclean hands are most often responsible for the spread of infectious diseases like flu. Consequently, coronavirus infection, which is a highly transmittable disease, has more chances of spreading this way. Therefore, it crucial to talk to your children about what is a coronavirus and the importance of washing their hands regularly, especially at such times. Once they understand the reason behind such actions, they are more likely to follow it.

Teach your kids to wash their hands before eating their food, after petting an animal, if they’ve handled garbage or touched animal waste. As per the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, there is a specific way to wash hands. It will help in reducing the risk of catching coronavirus infection and prevent it from spreading to others. These are as follows –

  • Wet hands under running water.

  • Apply soap and lather it up. Properly scrub the back of your hands, between the fingers and under your nails to get rid of germs.

  • Scrub for20 seconds before rinsing it off.

Avoid touching their face with unclean hands – According to the World Health Organisation, these viruses stay active for several hours on surfaces. Therefore, your kid may catch the coronavirus disease by touching any contaminated surface and then immediately touching his or her mouth, nose or eyes with their hands. Hence, ask your children not to touch their face with dirty hands and to clean them properly whenever possible.

Using hand sanitiser – It is always better to use soap and water to wash and clean one’s hand when it’s feasible, which will help in removing the virus and other germs. However, there are certain situations where it might not be possible for someone to wash hands with soap and water. In such circumstances, one can use a hand sanitiser containing 60 – 95% alcohol.

Hand sanitisers with no alcohol or containing low alcohol concentration than that will not be as much effective in killing germs. Ask your children to use hand sanitiser as often as possible if they are outside. However, you may need to monitor your young children closely so that they don’t swallow the hand sanitiser.

Coughing or sneezing into their elbow – Coronavirus transmits via droplets that are released when someone sneezes or coughs. It can then land on you if you are in close vicinity with the infected person, or you can breathe in the droplets. As a result, you will get infected too. Hence, you should teach your kids to practise respiratory hygiene and to cough or sneeze by covering their mouths with a bent elbow to prevent the spray of droplets. 

They should not sneeze into their hands as it may result in passing on the germs to another person or contaminate an object or surface. If your kid is sneezing into a tissue, teach them to throw it into a closed bin to avoid the spread of this virus. 

After coughing or sneezing, they must wash their hands properly with soap and water. Or use an alcohol-based sanitiser in the absence of soap and water. Additionally, if your kid is showing coronavirus symptoms, make sure that he/she wears a mask to protect others from the coronavirus disease and stays at home.

Keep their surroundings and daily use items clean – You should also teach your child to keep their surroundings clean since coronavirus germs stay active for several hours. If your children are older, you can teach them to clean household items that are used by everyone in the house such as desks, doorknobs, light switches, faucets, tv remotes etc. 

Besides these items, you should ask your child to clean the surface of a mobile screen, tablets and keyboards as those are the things that one tends to frequently touch with unclean hands and have the highest chances of carrying the germs.

While cleaning, you and your child should wear disposable gloves that should be thrown away after use. If you are using reusable gloves, make sure that the gloves are used only to clean surfaces that maybe contaminated. Wash hands following the proper guidelines after you are done cleaning and disinfecting.

Apart from following the hygiene habits, you should also teach your kids other coronavirus prevention methods such as to avoid shaking hands with their friends or anyone else. They should also avoid being in close contact with a sick person. 

If they have come in contact, they need to wash their hands immediately. It will stop them from spreading the coronavirus locally. This is especially important if there are older members of your family.

How is Vedantu helping parents during lockdown due to coronavirus?

Our objective is to help parents keep their child safe at a time when educational institutes have been closed, and most states are going into lockdown to limit the spread of coronavirus infection. For this purpose, we are offering free access to all our online learning programmes so that students can continue with their studies as usual. The learning programmes consist of - 

  • live classes by expert subject teachers

  • regular examination

  • Doubt clearing sessions

  • Study material

It is also a time when engineering and medical aspirants are busy preparing for various competitive examinations like NEET and IIT JEE that are gateways to admission to premium colleges all over India. Keeping that in perspective, we are providing online coaching classes conducted by our experienced faculty, which will enable them to stay on top of their preparation during this lockdown. Now keep your child's preparation undeterred with our study material and CBSE NCERT Solutions Class 1 to 12 all subjects available on Vedantu site.

With Vedantu, your child can continue with his/her education from the comfort and safety of their home. Not only that, but they can also learn at their own pace and at their own time. Our digital platform also offers one on one classes so that your child can work on any weak areas they might have, during this lockdown. 

Our approach to teaching is very different from conventional teaching methods. We aim to make learning a fun experience for our students instead of something to dread. Consequently, our digital classrooms have fun features like quizzes and leader boards to make learning more interesting and engaging. 

Sign up now to access our free learning programmes and let your child’s academic pursuits remain unperturbed by the coronavirus disease!

Hygiene Habits that Kids should Observe to Avoid COVID-19