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Personal Hygiene for Kids: How to Protect Children from Viruses by Washing Hands

Good personal hygiene for kids has always been important, and it’s truer now than ever before. Use this simple toolkit to help teach good personal hygiene to your kids: washing hands is where it all begins!

Why is personal hygiene important for kids?

As they head back to school, educating your children about handwashing is an easy and effective way to help prevent germs from spreading and keep them safe. So, station you and yours by a sink, and let’s go!

Handy tips for children washing hands

Germs spread between children most commonly when:

  • They touch their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • They touch a contaminated surface
  • They blow their nose, cough, or sneeze into their hands and then touch other surfaces, people, and objects
  • They eat and drink with unwashed hands

These are all easy ways for germs and viruses to spread. So, what are the main times when kids should wash their hands?

  • Before eating food
  • After going to the toilet
  • After blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal
  • After touching rubbish
  • After touching any bodily fluid
  • When hands look dirty!


This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a good place to start for kids. Washing hands should become second nature, so try teaching them these easy-to-follow steps:


Hand washing: step-by-step

  1. Remove jewellery – even friendship bracelets – so the whole hand can be washed.
  2. Wet hands in warm running water.
  3. Apply antibacterial soap to wet hands.
  4. Rub hands together for at least 20 seconds, making sure all surfaces are covered, including the front and back of the hand and between fingers.
  5. Thoroughly rinse hands by removing all of the soap.
  6. Turn off the tap using your elbow, a towel, or a paper towel.
  7. Thoroughly dry hands using an air dryer, clean towel, or a paper towel.

Hygiene for kids: Extra tips


The above is all good basic hygiene for kids, but there are some extra things both you and they can do to keep safe.

  • Supervise the use of a hand sanitiser after handwashing and encourage your kids to use it after touching potentially dirty surfaces and objects when water and soap isn’t available.
  • Encourage your little ones to carry a pack of tissues around and cough and sneeze into those or their elbow, instead of hands. Throw used tissues in the bin as soon as possible and apply hand sanitiser or wash hands after handling them to kill germs.
  • Wash their clothes regularly, using a good-quality detergent and laundry sanitiser to help eradicate germs. Persil antibacterial laundry sanitiser is dermatologically tested to make it suitable for family and kills 99.9% viruses* and bacteria in the wash at temperatures as low as 20°C! Simply add a dose alongside your regular detergent in the washing machine. Have a look at these extra ideas for effectively disinfecting clothes.

Personal hygiene for kids is one lesson we all need to learn! Use these easy-to-follow tips to help make hand washing and personal hygiene second nature for your child.


*Laboratory tested on Influenza H1N1, Vacciniavirus, murine coronavirus (EN14476, 10 mins).

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