Student Program Teaches Preschoolers the Importance of Washing Their Hands

Nov. 7, 2014

A group of University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing students found themselves putting on a clinic inside a classroom. It was the first event ever for the program, Sharing Health Hand by Hand.

Nursing students were teaching proper hand hygiene to a class of preschool students with developmental needs. Program leaders say the children took to it even better than they thought they would. They sang songs, they used baby powder to show how easily germs are spread, and they played games.

“I think the kids had a lot of fun and learned a lot about hand washing. All of the different activities we did were really beneficial for them and seemed to really enjoy it,” program leader Joely Milazzo said.

Program leaders say the best parts were seeing how much fun the children were having while they learned. The preschool’s principal says they already practice proper hand washing everyday, but they’re always looking for adults to come in and enhance the extremely important skill.

“That’s one of our goals is to develop health living practices,” Eugene Field Title I Preschool principal Mary Rook said. “We know that hand washing is a very basic skill that everyone can do and if we do it, it can have a really big impact on the health of our community.”

Program leaders say the song was the biggest takeaway from the day. They believe the catchy tune was exactly what was needed to keep children washing their hands in the future.

“To kind of give them a timeframe to wash their hands with also a fun way to remember,” Milazzo said. “I think they’ll use it in the classroom, I think the teachers will use it, so I think it will keep reiterating and get stuck in their head.”

Program leaders hope every session after this will be as big of a hit as this was. They say as long as they go into the classroom with a positive attitude, the children will feed off of it and learn one of the most important practices in life.