Latvian kids encouraged to wash their hands with soapy song

Officials launched a new campaign September 9 to encourage families to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly.

"Wash your hands clean to keep them free of germs!" asks parents of pre-school and primary school children to pay more attention to their own and their children's hand hygiene by developing proper hand washing habits and a healthy attitude towards hand hygiene.

Data from the Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC) show that only 11% of parents wash their hands for 20 seconds or more, which is the recommended minimum duration.

"Washing your hands is an easy way to protect both children and adults from the spread of microbes and to be healthy! Children learn from adults, so it is important that parents set a positive example for the child, and be actively involved in educating children about proper hand hygiene, and explain both the right hand washing technique and situations where hand washing is needed. Parents' time, attention and creative solutions in explaining hand washing are a very important investment in a child's health and future," said the SPKC. 

To launch the campaign a special "Mr Soapy's hand washing song" dedicated to proper hand washing technique has been created by producer Kaspars Ansons and musician Intars Busulis, the voice and occasionally the face of many another advertising campaign.

In brief, the song tells of the various situations in which one's hands might become dirtied, such as stroking the dog or playing with the cat, and the valuable assistance provided by Mr Soapy the friendly soap dispenser in disinfecting one's digits subsequently. It also provides a timely reminder to dry hands on a towel, not on your trousers.

There is also a coloring book and quiz book for pre-school children among other publicity materials, plus a dedicated website www.ziepiņš.lv where materials can be downloaded.

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