About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Musical Hand Washing: Popular Nursery Rhyme can Protect Your Child From Infections

Musical Hand Washing: Popular Nursery Rhyme can Protect Your Child From Infections

Font : A-A+

  • Famous nursery rhyme can keep childhood infections at bay
  • Learning and memorizing proper hand hygiene technique through nursery rhymes can prevent the spread of common infections in children
  • Encourage kids to practice musical hand washing technique to get healthy and germ-free hands

Infections are common during childhood. A new study suggests that singing and memorizing a popular nursery rhyme can help kids to learn the importance of proper hand washing procedures easily. This could ultimately help in preventing a wide range of childhood infections.

A musical mnemonic based on a popular nursery rhyme can help young children to learn and remember the proper hand hygiene technique and prevent the spread of common infections, suggests an article published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.


Musical Hand Washing: Popular Nursery Rhyme can Protect Your Child From Infections

Musical Hand Washing Technique

Using a song, where the instructions are stated before each step, may help children to learn the proper hand washing technique, by making it more fun and easier to remember.

Regular hand hygiene education at school is recommended as an effective method to prevent stomach bugs, coughs and colds, which are common in children.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of a six step technique to help eliminate microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, but learning and memorizing the proper steps can be difficult.

Details of the Study

Previous studies have explored the effect of school based hand hygiene on infections and school attendance, but less is known about how hand hygiene techniques are taught to children.

To explore this gap, a team of researchers led by Dr. Nisha Thampi from CHEO, a paediatric health and research centre in Ottawa, reviewed a sample of 15 online videos aimed at children to see if a musical mnemonic had been used to demonstrate proper handwashing.

None of the videos showed the six step technique using a song, and those that did show certain steps were longer than the recommended duration (20-30 seconds).

Singing 6-Step Hand Washing Technique to Get Germ-free Hands

So, they decided to develop a musical mnemonic aimed at school children which highlighted the six recommended steps, using the melody of "Brother John" (also known as "Frère Jacques") to help them remember the words.

The lyrics were developed in collaboration with pre-school and primary school children to make sure that the intended audience could easily understand them.

To see whether the song lyric instructions could be an effective method for reducing the amount of bacteria on the hands, fluorescent marking was applied before handwashing with soapy water. The hands were then checked afterwards for residual fluorescence.

Findings of the Study

There was a reduction in the amount of fluorescent marking on the childrens' hands following the musical handwashing, suggesting that this could be an effective way of decreasing the amount of bacteria.

This is an observational study, and as such, can't establish cause. But the authors say that the musical mnemonic can teach the WHO hand hygiene technique effectively, potentially reducing the spread of infection. And, there is room for it to be adopted in the healthcare setting, but further testing would be needed.

Key Note of the Study

They conclude: "With its catchy tune and clear, lyrical instructions, our technique offers the opportunity to develop hand hygiene muscle memory, self-correction, and public health gains among children."

Reference :
  1. Wash your hands, Brother John! - (https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6050)

Source: Eurekalert

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Coffee May Help You Fight Endometrial Cancer
Fermented Skin Care
Television Binge-Watching May Boost the Risk of Deadly Blood Clots
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Christianson Syndrome 

Recommended Reading
Hand Sanitizers - Interesting Facts You Must Know
Hand sanitizers work by disrupting the outer coat of microbes. Improper use of hand sanitizers ......
World Hand Hygiene Day: Clean Care for All - It's in Your Hands
World Hand Hygiene Day is observed annually on 5th May around the world to raise awareness on the .....
Global Handwashing Day: “Our Hands, Our Future!”
Global Hand Washing Day is observed on 15th October worldwide, with the intention to promote good .....
Five Step Plan to Improve Hygiene Practices and Reduce Infectious Diseases
The 5-steps focus on improved hand hygiene and preventing the spread of infection causing germs in ....
Christianson Syndrome
Christianson syndrome is a condition that occurs due to mutations (abnormal changes) in the gene SLC...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)