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The Hand Washing Program for Children

 Name of Agency

The program was presented at Five Palms Elementary School.

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Client Assessment Data

A health assessment data method was employed. Records from the nurses’ office recorded the following health complaints:

  1. Chest congestion
  2. Productive coughs
  3. Sore throats
  4. Rhinorrhea

The conditions above were classic symptoms of a common cold caused by droplets of virus present in the air. The virus living span makes it survive on physical objects for hours. Children aged between 4-7 years were exposed to 12 colds in a year. Vulnerability of children to get exposed to rhinovirus is high (Kaslovsky & Sadof, 2013).

Children’s developmental stage involved a lot of movements and play. They touch and feel everything that they can see. Unfortunately, they do not have information on the dangers caused by germs on their hands. Medical practitioners proposed hand washing, as a remedy towards the prevention and reduction of common colds in children. Hand washing effectively removes cold viruses from hands (Pappas & Hendley, 2011). Therefore, a hand washing program to prevent colds in children would be effective in elementary school.

Demographic Characteristics

Development level

The program was designed for kindergarten children between 4 – 5 years old. By the time they are 5 years old, children are able to: speak, understand the order of daily routines, listen, and follow directions. Therefore, these developmental qualities enable the children to grasp concepts from instructors hence development of life functioning skills.

For the achievement of a hand washing development skill, there was integration of social and cognitive skills. This involved watching Khalils’ video file on germs and benefits of washing hands (Khalil, 2012). The trainer then asked members questions on the message contained in the audio file. Lastly, members participated in a hand washing experiment. This was a social-cognitive learning approach whereby members interacted with audio media files and imitated the content.

Cultural factors

Majority of members were bilingual but had a more clear understanding of English language. There were few times,when one or two members said a word in Spanish, but the teacher quickly provided the English translation to them.

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Program Plan and Implementation

Goals of the program plan

The program was aimed at achieving the goals below.

  1. Understanding what germs are.
  2. Understanding harms caused by germs.
  3. Understanding the benefits of washing hands.

Materials needed

Materials used for program implementation were:

  1. Glitter
  2. Paper Towels
  3. Bucket (to clutch glitter)

Execution of Program

  • Step 1: Watching audio file: This step involved a social process where all members watched an audio-visual file on germs, harms of germs and benefits of hand washing. This provided members with a social learning process.
  • Step 2: Question and answer forum: This step involved a question and answer forum. It tested the understanding ability of members. The trainer asked questions from the video, and clear answers showed understanding of the topic.
  • Step 3: Experiments on hand washing: In this step, the trainer employed participant observation to all members. The following steps were followed.
  1. Have all members get ready to undertake the experiment
  2. Ask all members to spread their hands. Pour small amounts of glitter on their palms. Ask them to rub their palms to create friction. Then select three members.
  3. Ask the first member to wipe off the glitter with a dry towel
  4. Ask the second member to wash hands in plain, cold water.
  5. Ask the third member to wash hands in plain, warm water.
  6. Ask all other members to wash hands in warm, soapy water then record findings for discussion.
  • Step 4: Discussion and Assimilation.

The instructor used glitters in the experiment to act as. Results were as follows:

  • Member 1: The paper towel wiped some glitters. A lot of Glitters present on palms and between the fingers.
  • Member 2: Glitters present on palms and between fingers.
  • Member 3: Few glitters present on palms and between fingers.
  • Other members: No glitters present on palms and between fingers.

Results from the experiment revealed that, proper hand washing entailed: the use of warm water, soap and rubbing of hands together. The process of hand washing includes the use of enough amounts of water, soap and rubbing hands to produce friction. Warm soapy water kills germs present and is highly recommended when hand washing. Proper hand washing reduces the spread of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses and common colds.


The program was a success as members were able to learn about: risks caused by germs, importance of hand washing and procedures of washing hands. All goals were achieved and members’ responses were positive despite their age and stage of development. I was captivated by their attention. Class participation was excellent. Teachers were of great help in ensuring effective communication was made.

I cannot fail to attribute the school management for supporting the program in meeting all its goals. The school management helped in program preparation by creating time and space, for program execution and provision of required materials. I believe that the program was a great success, not only to me, but to all the members as well. Given another chance to offer hand washing training skills, I would not change anything in the program due to its success and ease of implementation.


Kaslovsky, R., & Sadof, M. (2013). Chronic Cough in Children: A Primary Care and Subspecialty Collaborative Approach. Pediatrics in Review.2013; 34:498-509. Web.

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Khalil, M. (2012). Video teaching children about germs and hand washing [VIDEO]. Web.

Pappas, D., E, & Hendley, J., O. (2011). The common cold and decongestant therapy. Pediatrics in Review. 2011; 32(2):47–55. Web.

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