Personal Hygiene Practice in My Multicultural family

Eastern vs. Western

A significant proportion of the world’s population is currently under some form of lockdown to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Spain announced its total confinement ordered on March 14 and any members of the public who disobey rule could face fines. 

In Spain and of course, including our Brazilian father felt it was unnecessary to wear a mask when the Coronavirus outbreak began. In contrast, Taiwanese are very used to wearing a mask even without the Pandemic. Personal hygiene practice starts teaching as early as in nursery school and treats it an essential self-care skill.

The personal hygiene approach is quite different in my multicultural family as it involves perspective between the Eastern and Western mindsets. For instance, when our kids are sick, I would like them to drink plenty of warm water, check with the doctor as soon as possible, and take immediate medical cures. On the other hand, the Brazilian father prefers to leave it for the body to react for sometimes before the medicine, and cold showers for fever, which sounds quite insane to me. In consequence, our multicultural kids get to experience both sides of treatment when they are ill. 

Teaching Little Children about “Virus“?

Since the lockdown began, my two little kids have been asking me about the park, walking dog or school to see friends! Initially, I was not prepared to respond to the situation. Therefore, I have made up a story that there is a monster wandering in the city that makes people feel sick. My kids show up at the window every day at 8 pm joining the crowd to clap, and they say, “Monster go away!”

One month and a half after the confinement, Spain is slowly planning itself to get back to normal life. As parents, we also feel the need to prepare our little children to leave the house to a world that is slightly different than the last time when they were out. 

Therefore, right now is the best time for us to teach disease prevention and instill a good personal hygiene habit to our little kids.

Do Not lick This Book  

Storybooks are one of the best ways to navigate this topic; “Do Not Lick This Book” by Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost is the best book yet for teaching little kids about the germs. We have learned so much about microbes in this book, kids can understand from the images on where the virus located and how easily these viruses can get transferred from one place to another 

Do Not Lick This Book” also provides some fascinating close-ups; little kids can see the surface of the teeth, fabric, skin and books, all of which contain millions of microbes. Our daughters – Luana and Maya point at the microbes and say “monsters”.

“My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19.”

“My Hero is You, How Kids can fight COVID-19!” is released from the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), free printable in multiple languages. The story features a creature named Ario that explains to children how to protect themselves from the virus and cope with the changes around the world. 

Coronavirus – Once Upon a Time

Little Prince has always been one of our favorite stories. From a town in Spain – Victor Espiga … this is how everybody got the time to reread The Little Prince and understand Coronavirus through The Little Prince’s imagination. 

FIVE Tips on Teaching Kids Into Hand Washing Habit?

Taken suggestions from Stanford Children’s Health and adding to some of our kid’s favorite.

Here are our FIVE  tips to teach little  kids into handwashing habit:

Representation matters:

Parents should demonstrate how to wash hands properly, lead by example and walk your child through the procedure. 

Re-emphasize when to wash hands:

It is especially important to remind your kids to wash hands before eating, after using the bathroom, after touching pets, after playing outside, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose.

Explain the reason for washing hands:

It is quite difficult for young children to understand “virus”, mainly because they can’t see it, little children may not even remember everything you say. Be patient and remind them of the importance of handwashing, as it helps to prevent them from making others and themselves sick. 

Make it fun:

Change the soap to your kids’ favorite cartoon character or the smell of his/her preference. We usually sing a simple children’s song while washing hands. In Taiwan, little kids are taught to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.  

Reachable sink:

Create a hand washing station or get a sink step stool if your kids can stand. Create a convenient learning environment to generate your kid’s interests. 

FIVE Steps to Clean Hands

Please follow these steps, which are recommended and instructed by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): 

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. 

(Above Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Put up a poster in your restroom or by the sink to raise awareness. CDC provides multiple languages and sizes for free download. Visual communications are especially more engaging with young children as the color visuals increase their willingness to learn. 

    11 Ways to Keep Virus Away!

    Sun is so inviting! Kids can’t wait to get outside and engage with the world. 

    While we are all feeling excited about leaving home to enjoy the spring. Before we head out, let’s teach our little one how to protect themselves! Health workers stood in the front line to fight for every individual one of us. To show our gratitude, it is our responsibility to keep our planet clean, our body healthy and maximize personal hygiene practice.

    Karina Busquets, who is a dedicated children’s illustrator based in the United Kingdom, is also facing challenges on how to properly educate her children regarding the subject of virus and personal hygiene. Special thanks to Karina for creating the “11 ways to keep the virus away” poster. You can get a free download by signing up.


    Subscribe here with your email and get access to a high resolution image of “11 Ways to Keep Virus Away”

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This