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Hand washing keeps children healthy

A key food safety issue in Laos is that many people don't wash their hands before a meal and experts believe a change can be made by starting with children.

Children should know all the proper steps for washing their hands in the right way to keep them in good health, especially since children in Laos use their hands to eat sticky rice and other food.

Saengsamai kindergarten, primary and lower secondary school is one educational institution that is focused on inculcating the habit of hand washing among its students to protect them from diseases.

Children wash their hands before having lunch. --Photos Saengsamai Kindergarten, primary and lower secondary school

The Principal, Ms Viengxay Phimmasaeng, said the school first installed wash basins in 2012 so that children in the primary classes would get into the habit of washing their hands.

The school has activities every day to train its students in hand washing when they have a break from 10 am to 10:10 am and have their lunch.

The school also has a session on hand washing in front of its flagpole twice a month, and the students are shown the seven steps for properly washing their hands on a projector in the meeting room once a week.

The seven steps listed by Saengsamai school for properly washing hands are:

1. Rub both palms toget her

2. Rub each finger and the space between the fingers

3. Rub the palm between the fingers

4. Rub one palm with the other palm, and rub each finger

5. Rub thumbs with the palm

6. Rub the tops of the fingers of one hand with the palm of the other hand

7. Rub the wrists

Teachers instruct the students on these seven steps before lunch and after they finish eating.

Most of the children understand the importance of washing their hands and are more interested about such steps to protect their health.

Saengsamai school introduced more activities on September 10 to encourage the children to wash their hands, which will continue until the end of the academic year.

A boy in a primary school class, Vongmixay Chanphommala, said washing hands properly before eating was very important for staying healthy.

I wash m y hands every time before I have lunch and dinner to protect myself against germs and diseases, he added.

The Principal, Ms Viengxay, said more than 700 students, including 267 girls, registered at the school for the 2017-18 academic year, while last year more than 140 children were enrolled in kindergarten, 279 children in the primary school and 147 students in the lower secondary school.

I think parents like their sons or daughters to attend Saengsamai school because they like our regulations and teaching methods, Ms Viengxay said.

The school has six kindergarten classrooms, 10 classrooms for primary school, and five for lower secondary school.

The school has 28 teachers, including seven in kindergarten, 10 in primary school and 11 in lower secondary school.


By Viengdavanh Banphahaksa
(Latest Update September 13, 2017)

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