Community Teaching Plan Handwashing Discussion
Children pick harmful disease-causing germs from what they touch. Young children are at a greater risk of contracting infectious diseases such as meningitis, common cold, flu, and chickenpox through poor hand hygiene. Other dangerous diseases that children can acquire from poor hand hygiene include respiratory infections, diarrhea, and salmonella, which they can also transmit to other people. Knowledge and proper education on hand hygiene can help children to avoid contracting and spreading harmful germs that are a threat to their lives. Effective handwashing is a major primary prevention approach in preventing deadly diseases caused and spread by poor hand hygiene. This community teaching plan aims at educating young children to learn and adopt effective hand hygiene characterized by a proper frequency and quality of handwashing behavior.
Summary of the Teaching Plan
This teaching plan aims at teaching school-age children between 5-6 years about proper handwashing. The activity took place at the kindergarten with a class size of 30 students. Given the age bracket of the children, several effective teaching techniques were used to help in improving their concentration as well as to pass the message effectively. I used posters with elaborate pictures to help the children easily memorize what they are taught. Role-plays were also used to help the children experiment with, explore, and even investigate what they are taught. I also used popular songs such as ‘row the boat’ and ‘happy birthdays’ to break the learning monotony as well as create a happy learning environment enjoyed by the children.
The children watched a video on handwashing then led to practice by themselves supervised and guided by an adult. I provided the children with flashcards that have detailed visual lessons that teach children the art of effective handwashing. The major objective of the lesson is to help the children to learn proper hand hygiene through handwashing. Some of the learning outcomes include; knowing when to wash hands, the importance of washing hands, and proper hand hygiene. Children must develop a handwashing etiquette using elaborate yet simple steps. These steps keep them from developing ailments and diseases caused by germs.
The epidemiological rationale for Handwashing
Hand hygiene-HH is rapidly becoming a critical health concern for the public. The efficiency of hand hygiene is obtained by a combination of hand drying and washing efficiency. However, there is very scanty information to the public, especially young children about efficient hand hygiene behavior. Young children are the most susceptible to infections such as the flu, cold, gastrointestinal ailments, and other respiratory viruses (Staniford, L. J., & Schmidtke, K. A. (2020). These problems are caused by poor handwashing behavior or the lack of it. Besides, poor hand hygiene in children is the number one cause of stomach problems and diarrhea. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021) indicates that 1 out 5 children suffer from respiratory problems such as pneumonia, whereas 1 out 3 children get infected with diarrhea due to poor hand hygiene. This statement means that many children risk contracting infectious diseases if proper hand hygiene is not observed.
Effective handwashing is one of the best ways of curbing disease transmission in young children. Using soap is the best approach in removing disease pathogens from the hands while preventing infectious diseases from spreading among the children. In this lesson, I will teach the children how to wash their hands effectively and the importance of handwashing. Most of the children from the study group are already aware that they need to wash their hands regularly. However, there is a gap in terms of information/education about how to properly wash hands. An empirical study conducted in 2019 by Suen et al., indicated that handwashing is 85% effective in removing microorganisms from the hand (p. 9). This factor means that simple handwashing with soap protects children from harmful bacteria and viruses that may cause serious health infections.
Many illnesses in adults and children begin with contaminated/dirty hands that have disease-causing viruses and bacteria. The hands of young children can easily get contaminated after using a toilet. For example, just one gram of human feces contain up to 10 million viruses and 1 million bacteria. Feces of young children are more pathogenic compared to adult feces. This fact alone shows how dangerous poor hand hygiene can get for children when a child touches excreta. Two major common in children because by poor hand hygiene are diarrhea and pneumonia. Together, these two health problems lead to 20% deaths in children under the age of 5 years (Suen et al., 2019). Diarrheal disease is one of the top killer disease in children caused by gems and parasites. In the case of pneumonia, 13% of child deaths are caused by these disease due to failure to observe proper hand hygiene (Suen et al., 2019). It is critical to note that many of these can be simply prevented by a simple handwashing using soap.
Evaluation of Teaching Experience
There are numerous methods and ways that can be used to evaluate a teaching experience. One of the most effective methods of evaluating a teaching experience is self-reelection. In the scenario, the teacher reflects on their performance by asking himself/herself critical questions such as how the learning session went, the level of engagement in the learners if the children did any actual learning. Secondly, I will use easy questions to assess whether the students learned anything from the lesson. For example, some of the critical questions that will help me to analyze whether the children learned something includes; asking them the meaning of germs, how germs spread, a demonstration of how to wash hands, and why it is important to wash hands regularly. Using these questions, I can find out if the lessons have been effective.
The Traffic-light feedback tool is another critical tool in the Evaluation of teaching experience. For example, I asked children to tell me what they found difficult or what they did not understand. I use a red sticky note to represent the difficult parts. Similarly, I ask the learners to write down or tell me which areas/subtopics they understood well or enjoyed learning. I write these down on a green sticky note. After analyzing the two notes-red and blue, I design a plan to work on the sections that need improvement to make them more deliverable to the children.
One-minute papers is another critical method used in the evaluation of teaching experience. These are pieces of small papers that a teacher asks his/her students to write down what they have understood well and what they have not understood or what is giving them problems. This is a critical evaluation approach for teaching experience because a teacher knows exactly how he/she performed and what areas they need to concentrate on or make improvements.
Community Response to Teaching
In the beginning, the children were not sure what to expect. Many of them explained to me that they did not think the activity would amount to much since they already practice handwashing anyway. However, through a mixture of videos, songs, graphic pictures on handwashing, and role-plays, the children seemed to enjoy the lessons immensely. Many of them were even surprised that much as they already knew about washing hands, they were doing it wrong. In particular, the students were very eager to learn about germs and how they spread. This inquisitiveness is proof that the children were actively listening and asking questions to help them better understand the phenomena of effective handwashing.
The children responded positively as indicated by their level of engagement. During the lesson, the children listened attentively to the videos and the oral presentations. The videos were made in form of short animation films which helped to boost the children’s concentration. Other materials that made the learners respond positively to the lesson include; pictograms, role plays, group activities, and songs. I also made sure that complex problems were elucidated so that the children did not encounter any difficulty when learning. The elucidation of complex problems increased the children’s level of enthusiasm for learning.
Areas of Strengths and Areas of Improvement
The choice of teaching materials used enhances the learning outcome. The use of animated videos, picture presentations, and role plays enhanced the children’s attention and participation in the learning. I am pleased by the choice of tools used in the learning process because they immensely contributed to the success of the program. Being young children with low attention and memory span, it was critical to find an effective way of teaching. Instead of lecturing, the tools mentioned above made the lessons more interesting and memorable for children.
The major problem with the handwashing program is that it is difficult to implement. It is one thing to teach the children about proper hand hygiene, and is another thing altogether to get the children to observe proper hand hygiene at all times. As playful as they are, children will touch everything during play which exposes them to harmful bacteria and virus infections. This program can only be a success if parents joined hands to ensure that hand hygiene in children is observed. Secondly, some parents have no knowledge of proper handwashing procedures which means that they are cannot effectively implement proper hygiene habits in their children when they have no clue about it.
Hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways of curbing the spread of germs in children. Many children acquire health complications from what they touch. Without proper hand hygiene behavior, children not only get sick but can also pass the disease-causing germs to other children. The objective of this community teaching plan is to educate 5-6 year old the proper etiquette of hand hygiene through regular and proper handwashing. The CDC asserts that simple handwashing with soap can save millions of children across the globe from contracting deadly diseases and ailments caused by germs. The act of simple hand washing using soap and water helps millions of children from dying. Furthermore, washing hands is a major primary prevention tool in the spread of diseases.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Hygiene Fast Facts | Hygiene | Healthy Water | CDC. [online] Cdc.gov. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/fast_facts.html> [Accessed 26 April 2021].
- Suen, L. K., So, Z. Y., Yeung, S. K., Lo, K. Y., & Lam, S. C. (2019). Epidemiological investigation on hand hygiene knowledge and behaviour: a cross-sectional study on gender disparity. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6705-5
- Staniford, L. J., & Schmidtke, K. A. (2020). A systematic review of hand-hygiene and environmental-disinfection interventions in settings with children. BMC Public Health, 20(1), 195. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-8301-0