WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE (WASH)
Water, sanitation and hygiene are crucial elements to your health: By drinking clean/purified water, maintaining good sanitation and hygiene you will be able to help create a healthier life for both yourself AND your community.
WATER: it is important to drink water as often as you can. This helps keep your body hydrated and keep you healthy by; increasing production of new blood and muscle cells, purifying colon to allow absorption of nutrients and balancing lymph system to fight infection.
SANITATION: This refers to clean drinking water doesn’t contain any diseases – we recommend NOT drinking water from rivers, puddles or streams; there are a lot of water born diseases that can causes severe illnesses, especially for children who are more vulnerable. It also refers to the disposal of human excreta – your loo pit should be located away from any water source, or where you eat to avoid any contamination.
HYGIENE: Personal hygiene includes different habits i.e., washing hands and brushing teeth which keep bacteria, viruses and fungal far away from our bodies. Moreover these habits will help us to protect our mental health and activity. (See more about hygiene below.)
Keeping yourself clean
1) Wash regularly. Cleansing your body regularly is an important part of a good hygiene routine. You should try to shower once or twice a week, as showering once a day can end up actually drying out your skin.
- Make sure you wash the areas where you sweat the most, including your armpits, genitals, and breasts. You should also keep your feet clean and wash them in the shower. Use a washcloth and soap to clean between your toes and under your feet. After you wash your feet, dry them thoroughly. This helps prevents conditions like warts or athlete’s foot.
- Wash your hair. Your hair type will determine how often you need to wash your hair. Finer, thinner hair often requires more frequent washing. Wash your hair when it becomes visibly oily and stringy.
- Finding how long you can go between shampoos may take a bit of experimentation, but it will help you build up your natural hair oils, and keep your hair strong.
2) Practice good oral hygiene. To keep your mouth clean and encourage fresh breath, you should brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing your teeth helps to remove food and plaque that can cause cavities.
- Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, once in the morning and once at night. Try using a timer or listening to a song all the way through each time you brush. Soft bristled toothbrushes are best because they won’t damage your gums.
3) Wash your hands. Regular hand washing will keep you healthy and clean. First, wet your hands, turn off the tap, and lather your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. Rinse your hands under clean, running water, and dry them with a clean towel, or allow them to air dry.You should wash your hands:
- If they appear dirty
- Before preparing or eating food
- Before and after you care for someone who is ill
- Before and after treating a wound
- After blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing
- After using the bathroom
- After handling garbage
- After handling animals or animal waste
- After touching a surface frequently touched by other people
Keeping your children clean
According to the experts young kids may sweat but they don’t start having body odour (BO) until they reach puberty. That’s when special sweat glands under the arms and around the genitals roar into full production pouring out sweat which smells!
Underclothes are right next to your skin and collect dead skin cells, sweat and possibly other unmentionable stains. Overnight bacteria start to work on these stains so your clothes do not smell as nice on the second day of wearing.
If you have to wear a school uniform then take it off as soon as you get home and hang it up to air before you wear it the next day.
You spend a lot of time on your feet and your shoes are very close to the place where a very large collection of sweat glands live – your feet!
Sweat gets into your shoes and then bacteria arrive which love the moist leather or fabric so much that they tell all their friends to come round and party!
- If you have one pair of shoes for school then try to get them off as soon as you get home so that they can air and dry out
- If you have more than one pair then use them on alternate days to give them a better chance of drying out.
- Keep your shoes clean by brushing, polishing or washing. They will look better, last longer and be less likely to smell.
Wash your feet well at least once a day.
Dry them carefully, especially between the toes. If the towel is too thick to get in between your little toes, then use a dry face washer (keep it for your feet only).
The hair follicles which the hair grows from produce oil which keeps the hair smooth. You also have sweat glands in your scalp, and dead skin cells come off the scalp. The oil, sweat and dead cells all add together and can make hair greasy and look dirty unless you wash it regularly.
- You should brush your teeth twice a day – after breakfast and before you go to bed.
- During the day, fill your mouth with water and swish it around to get rid of anything sticking to your teeth.