Our June Topic | Water, Sanitation & Hygiene | What can Children Do?

Our June topic is Water, Sanitation & Hygiene.

Our 100 Health Messages for Children to Learn and Share are simple, reliable health education messages aimed at children aged 8-14, this includes young adolescents aged 10-14. We feel that it is especially useful and important to make sure that young adolescents are informed as this age group often cares for young children in their families. Also, it’s important to recognise and praise the work they are doing to help their families in this way.

The messages are arranged as 10 messages in 10 key health topics: Malaria, Diarrhoea, Nutrition, Coughs, Colds & Pneumonia, Intestinal Worms, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Immunisation, HIV & Aids, Accidents & Preventing Injuries and Caring for Babies & Young Children. The simple health messages are for parents and health educators to use with children at home and in schools, clubs and clinics.

Our messages on Water, Sanitation & Hygiene:

  1. To wash hands properly use water and a little soap. Rub for 10 seconds, rinse and air-dry or dry with a clean cloth/paper, not on dirty clothes.
  2. Wash your hands properly before touching the T-zone on your face (eyes, nose and mouth) as this is where germs enter the body. Avoid touching the T-zone when you can.
  3. Wash your hands BEFORE preparing food, eating or giving food to babies, and AFTER peeing, pooing or cleaning a baby, or helping someone who is ill.
  4. Keep your body and clothes fresh and clean. Keep your nails and toes, teeth and ears, face and hair CLEAN. Shoes/flip-flops protect against worms.
  5. Keep human and animal poo and pee away from flies, which spread germs. Use latrines and afterwards wash your hands.
  6. Keep your face fresh and clean. Wash well with a little clean water and soap morning and evening, and if flies buzz near sticky eyes.
  7. Don’t touch clean, safe water with dirty hands or cups. Keep it safe and free from germs.
  8. Sunlight makes water safer. Filter it into a plastic bottles and leave for 6 hours until it’s safer to drink.
  9. When you can, use the sun to dry and destroy germs on plates and utensils after washing.
  10. Kill or reduce flies by keeping the home and community free from rubbish and dirt. Store rubbish safely until it’s collected, burned or buried.

These health messages have been reviewed by expert health educators and medical experts and are available on the Health ORB website too.

What can children Make, Do & Ask to better understand this topic?

Here are some ideas for activities children can do to understand more about our June topic and share the messages with others.

  • MAKE our own WATER, SANITATION & HYGIENE messages using our own words in our own language!
  • MEMORISE the messages so we never forget them!
  • SHARE the messages with other children and our families.
  • LEARN a song to help us learn how to wash our hands.
  • MAKE UP and ACT out a play to show what happens to the Germ Family when the Clean Family move into their village or a play about where germs like to hide.
  • HELP our younger brothers and sisters and make sure they know how to wash their hands properly.
  • SPEND an hour observing a group of people and watch and record how often they touch their faces, their clothes or other people.
  • THINK of all the ways that germs can spread from the hands into the body.
  • WORK together on a plan to make sure the school toilets are clean.
  • LEARN how to clean water using a filter.
  • Make a plan to keep the school compound CLEAN and CLEAR of rubbish.
  • START a hygiene club at school.
  • SHARE what we know about flies, dirt and germs with our families.
  • KEEP our water container clean and covered and always use a scoop, never our own cup or hands. Show our younger brothers and sisters how to take water from a pot.
  • WORK together to make a Tippy Tap!
  • HOW to make a Wash Mitt to hold soap for washing our bodies.
  • MAKE a Fly Trap out of a plastic bottle and some sugar water or poo!
  • HELP make clean water to drink at home Using Sunlight.
  • MAKE a Sand Filter to clean dirty water.
  • MAKE a map of water supplies in our community and whether it is safe to drink or not.
  • BUILD a drying rack for cooking pots and our plates so they can dry in the sun.
  • ASK how do we keep our hands clean and free from germs? Do we have soap to use for washing hands at home? How much does soap cost at the local shop? How do we keep our bodies clean? How do we brush our teeth? Where do germs come from, where they live and how do they spread? How do flies live, eat and breed? How do flies carry dirt on their legs? What are our water sources? How can we make dirty water safe to drink? Where can we get plastic bottles? What cloth can be used as a water filter? What hygiene practices do family members use when they prepare food? Where are the places in the house or community that might have the most germs?

For more specific information on the Fly Trap, using sunshine to sterilise water, how to make a Sand filter,
a Wash Mitt and a Tippy Tap or to learn more about our June topic, see Water, Sanitation & Hygiene!
For anything else, e-mail clare@childrenforhealth.org