Effective ways to teach children about germs

The functioning of the body can be disrupted by germs that can send wreak havoc on our body. These tiny living organisms are the root cause for major diseases not just in kids but in almost everyone. Parents generally find it difficult to explain the concept of germs to kids. Read on to help make your kids understand about germs in a simpler way

Effective ways to teach children about germs

‘How do I explain the concept of germs for my kid to understand’ is the biggest distress most parent’s experience. For your children, germs are an abstract concept, something that they cannot see or feel, but trying and explaining the importance of hygiene in an easy-to-understand method which will definitely help them lead a healthy path.

Germs can be good as well as bad, for example germs like probiotics are termed as good germs while bacteria, fungi, and virus are considered to be bad germs. Although bacteria cause infection like sore throat, not all bacteria can be termed as harmful, some of these helper germs are also necessary for balancing our bodies.

Effective ways to teach children about germs
Dr Chaitali Laddad

What Do Germs Actually Do?

Once germs and allergens are into our bodies, they nestle in and are there to stay for a long time. They gorge on the essential nutrients and energy that produce hazardous toxins in the body. These poisonous contaminants cause symptoms like viral fever, cold, cough, diarrhoea and vomiting.

How can parents make their kid’s get to know more about germs?

You can label germs as minute fast growing bugs living on all things which when touched can make you sick. Explain to them the adverse effects like missing out on school or play when you are a victim of germ attack. Older kids will easily understand the adverse health effects bacteria can cause.

Guide them on the importance of maintaining basic hygiene like washing hands every time they use the washroom, covering your mouth while sneezing or coughing, not touching edibles with dirty unwashed hands, washing hands regularly with good anti-bacteria soaps before any kind of food intake.

Here’s how parents can protect their children from germs

  • Germs easily spread though the medium of air, like after sneezing and coughing. These can also pass through sweat, blood, personal contact like hand shake with an infected person, defecating in open spaces, touching contaminated food or drinking unclean water.
  • Germs fear soap and water the most. Parents should ensure kids wash their hands well to prevent these warriors to enter in our bodies.
  • Avoid getting your kids in direct contact of pets and animals. Animal fur sometimes contain maggots which are very harmful. Wash the child’s hand immediately when he touches pets or animals.
  • Avoid tagging kids along when you visit a sick patient. Your child might immediately contract the disease.
  • Instil the habit of covering mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing. This will help to keep from spreading of germs. Cough in your elbow, this will prevent spreading of germs.
  • The best weapon to combat these allergens is a regular visit to your doctor’s clinic. Taking routine immunisations to help keep your immune system clean and prepared to battle any form of germs.
  • Feed your children healthy food and ensure they get good sleep; this will help in the war against germs causing illness.
  • Kids usually have the habit of sharing meals and utensils. Refrain your toddler from sharing utensils.
  • Ensure you regularly wash bed sheets, pillow covers, curtains, carpets and stuffed toys. These are main surfaces on which germs thrive. Keeping your house clean and tidy is the best way to be germ-free.
  • Keep your bathrooms clean and hygienic. Germs usually live on toilet seats. Also, keep replacing your bathroom utilities like towels.

During winters cold and cough is unpreventable. Ensure your child does not get in touch with a person down with cold; children being sensitive might easily catch hold of the disease.

Although your child might fall prey to cough and cold, the above mentioned guidelines will surely assist you from letting those tiny devastators in.

The author is the founder and director of the Pediatric Network.