Learning the basics of hygiene should start early in life. You can start teaching your children how to practice good personal hygiene from a young age.
Preventing the spread of infectious diseases like the flu is everyone’s task. Singapore’s Health Promotion Board has come up with the concept of F.I.G.H.T. to help families fight infection and remain healthy.
Yes, germs and illness can be beaten! All we need is healthy hygiene habits to put up a good fight. Here are the five steps under F.I.G.H.T. to encourage good habits in your children.
This concept can be applied to the whole family to keep everyone safe and healthy. It’s as easy as remembering five simple steps.
1. Frequent Hand Washing
Washing their hands is one of the most important hygiene habits you can teach your child. Your child touches many objects and surfaces, whether at home, at school or in the playground daily. Washing hands with soap is one of the best ways to combat germs.
Ensure that the child is washing their hands with soap and water using the eight proper handwashing steps:
- Palm to palm
- Between fingers
- Back of hands
- Base of thumbs
- Back of fingers
- Rinse and wipe dry
Teach the little ones also that hands should be washed:
- After blowing your nose
- Before and after meals
- Before handling food
- After using the toilet
- After touching shared surfaces like tabletops, doorknobs, handrails, etc.
2. Immunisation (Yearly Flu Vaccination)
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination every year. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to flu-related complications.
The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to be effective, so it’s better to get vaccinated early, before flu season starts. In Singapore, the flu season generally occurs between May to July, and November to January.
If you are travelling, it is also recommended that you get vaccinated two weeks before leaving the country.
The flu vaccination is available at all polyclinics and most private clinics. Ask your doctor for more information.
3. Go to the Doctor When Unwell
If you or your child feels unwell, visit your doctor early to seek treatment.
4. Home Rest
If you are unwell, you should rest at home, instead of going to work.
Avoid crowded places to prevent the spread of the virus to others.
Resting will help your body recover faster.
5. Tissues or Masks
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you are unwell, always put on a mask.
This prevents the release of respiratory droplets into the air. Don’t forget to throw away used tissues and masks into the dustbin, and wash your hands after doing so.
You should teach your children that when we cough or sneeze, germs spread out and may infect those around us.
Encourage your child to get into the habit of carrying a packet of tissues in her bag. They will definitely come in handy, whether at school, after using the toilet or even in the playground.
Find out more about F.I.G.H.T. on fightthespread.sg
Mums and dads, good hygiene is the key to healthy living and a happy family. Practising the F.I.G.H.T. steps is everyone’s task!