Remember when we were in kindergarten? Our teachers were very serious about hygiene, were they not? Do not pick your nose. Flush the toilet. Wash your hands. They even taught us how to wash our hands properly. So, keeping clean is not new or groundbreaking information. We just have to do it like we were in kindergarten.
Children’s immune systems aren’t as strong as ours. They also touch everything and put everything in their mouths. But wait a minute? Don’t we do that with our hands as adults, too? Children play with their toys, then use their hands to eat snacks. Adults use our phones, then use our hands to eat snacks. We even use our phones on the toilet. But while we (hopefully) wash our hands, do we wash our phones after the toilet?
Therefore, in the midst of COVID-19 Outbreak, we asked kindergarten teachers to remind us again the importance of basic hygiene. Let’s go back to school.
Sneeze into your elbow
Please, do not sneeze or cough into your hands. Please. You may think you’re protecting other people by not sneezing into their faces, but most of the time you don’t get to wash your hands immediately, meanwhile you use your hands to touch everything.
“We encourage students to sneeze into a tissue and dispose of the tissue, then wash their hands,” said Rebecca O’Brien, teacher of 3-4 years old kids, Thai Sikh International School.
But if you can’t find a tissue in time, sneezing into your clothed elbow is recommended.
“I like to do a bit where I pretend I’m a vampire when I’m coughing or sneezing, like I’m holding a cape over my face,” said Olivia Gilmore, teacher of 4-6 years old, Anglo-Singapore International School.
Clean your phone
Kids are told to clean their toys. As adults, our phones are our toys. We touch them all the time and take them everywhere, even to the bathroom. We sleep with them next to our bed. So, it’s highly important to clean your phone with disinfectant.
“The cleaners and support staff clean every toy everyday with disinfectant,” said Rebecca.
And that’s just how often you should be cleaning your phone.
Stay home when you’re sick
If possible, please stay home when you’re sick. Don’t go out and infect other people. Be responsible to society.
“We teach our students about social responsibility, such as staying home when you are sick. It’s important that they don’t feel ostracized, but also that they know they are doing the right thing by staying home. Adults could certainly use this advice,” said Olivia.
But what if you really, really must go out?
“If a student is sick in school, we use a surgical mask to prevent the spread of a disease,” said Rebecca .
Sing while washing your hands
Ever since the COVID-19 breakout, articles and videos on washing hands properly are everywhere. Which makes us wonder, how did people wash hands before this virus madness?
“We wash our hands at least eight times throughout our five hours’ school day – roughly, twice an hour. We use songs to encourage them to do it the right way, which is for at least 20 seconds and with soap. For K2, we have a simple song to the tune of ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ that reminds students to really scrub every part and in-between the fingers,” said Olivia.