Half of all general practitioner consultations and 12% of all hospitalizations among children aged 0 to 14 years are for infections. Respiratory infections and infectious intestinal disease are responsible for 48% and 29% of primary care consultations among this age group, respectively. Handwashing is probably the most basic and most effective way of preventing the spread of infections.
It is something that is essential to everyday lives of people belonging to all age groups, especially children. Numerous diseases spread from the fecal-oral route and naïve children are the most vulnerable with their tendencies to put anything and everything that they can grab in their mouths.
The comfortable, affordable, and practical answer to these problems is learning the fundamentals of hand washing.
Healthy hand hygiene promotion and interventions, especially those that include the use of soap, can be useful in preventing gastrointestinal and respiratory infections and has been seen in many Meta-analyses. Absenteeism within school going children has reduced by teaching proper hand washing techniques, as this also reduces the spread of infections. Advances in the 21st century negate these requirements by providing hand sanitizers at most public places like hospitals and restaurants, but we all have seen the commercials of all hand sanitizers only targeting 99.9% of the germs. Also, children are finicky about sanitizers, and their smells followed with dry hands and hence getting them on-board is difficult. This is where the niche of teaching the young and developing minds the correct way/technique to wash hands by a means that is readily acceptable and age appropriate is essential.
Although some adults would be acceptations (gender alike) to this rule, kids fit the description of messy ideally. The target kids for teaching proper hand washing techniques would be two years of age until five years. Targeting children early on in life is essential as that would become routine for them as they grow up, it would be something that would and should be as basic as learning a language to communicate. The most realistic way to approach this target group at present would be through commercials that play either on satellite channels, infomercials on the radio, using age-appropriate favorite cartoon characters. Preferably these recording would be in a song format that is catchy and maybe ‘old-school’ like the basic ABCDEFG (Alphabet Song). This approach would be most easily acceptable by parents and easily grasped by children.
Since this intervention is implemented to prevent the spread of infectious diseases via spreading awareness and education regarding handwashing within the age group of 2 to 5 years, it is essentially primary prevention. The intervention using a commercial via television and radio, it is trying to change the behavior of the most vulnerable age group by teaching them the proper technique to wash hands and also potentially the environment also as this would increase the awareness within parents indirectly. The area of focus would be Morgantown, West Virginia for six months. Handling major and minor obstacles would be more practical here in Morgantown due to the investigators being physically present in the city. Gaining access to run the commercial at the favorite 1-2 radio stations and the local television channels would be reasonably controlled and feasible. Also, since all four investigators belong to West Virginia University, they would have easy access to the Arts department of the university for building and recording the commercial.