Health and Fitness News: Best Defense Against Covid-19

Virologist and epidemiologist Joseph Fair spoke with NBC Nightly News host Lester Holt about the best defense against the new coronavirus as they commute, at work, and in their daily lives. Among his tips: disinfect your workspace, don’t directly touch objects like elevator buttons, and wash your hands.

Getting kids to wash their hands can be a problem for parents and teachers. Germ spread from hands, to surfaces, to food and to other people just like glitter. The best way to get children, especially, the little ones, is to make a games of it and singing songs as they wash.

The Hot Potato Soap is for 2 to 10 year olds, particularly in a group, a good toll for teachers.

Glitter Germs. In this activity from the Columbus Public Health website, sprinkle a little glitter on your child’s hands. Then have them wash with just water. Repeat the experiment, washing with soap and water the second time. Have your child observe which method removes more glitter. You can also put glitter on your hand and touch your child’s shoulder, hands and hair. Show them how the glitter (like germs) can spread by touch.

Watch this short video with your child from the Jim Henson Company about germs.

Singing a short song that easy to remember. Getting them to wash for 20 seconds is easy.

Good song for adult, too.

A word of caution, too much of a good thing can be bad for your child’s over all health.

While it’s important to teach our kids about basic hygiene, some kids are prone to going overboard. In general, parents should have a relaxed, matter-of-fact attitude towards germs and cleanliness. While washing your hands after using the bathroom should be sacrosanct, keeping your hands completely clean at all times is not only unreasonable, it also may be unhealthy.

“The reason we’re seeing more food allergies in children, according to one theory, is that we’re doing too good for a job with hygiene,” says (Dr. Danelle Fisher, M.D.). So if your child drops a raisin on the floor and wants to eat it, it probably isn’t worth the battle. Just think of it as building up his immune system.

(Dr. Dina Kulik, M.D.) believes that the way you introduce germs for kids can affect whether they become overzealous about hygiene. “I try not to instill fear, as this can lead to over-washing,” she says. “If kids think of them as cute little things, like a cartoon, they can understand we need to stay clear of them, but not be fearful.” In addition, if your child seems to be obsessing a bit over hygiene, make sure you’re modeling normal germ control and not going overboard yourself.