Handwashing programme in kindergarten: A pilot study

W. H. Au, Kwai Ping Lorna Suen, Y. L. Kwok

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of a structured programme on handwashing which has taken into account of the developmental stage of children. Design/methodology/approach – This is a pilot study using a structured handwashing programme as intervention. The intervention group (n=15) receives the structured education programme on handwashing in addition to their existing curriculum, whereas the control group (n=15) receives only the teaching content of their curriculum. The programme contains five teaching sessions delivered on a weekly basis. Storytelling, health education, games, experiments, and handson activities are planned. Outcome evaluations include the knowledge level and behaviours on handwashing. The behaviour compliance over time is also assessed after the programme. Findings – After the education programme, the knowledge level of students in both groups increased, but significant improvement in handwashing practice is observed only in the intervention group. A noticeable improvement in the handwashing practice of the experimental group is seen immediately after the programme, but the children seem to have difficulties in maintaining the habit. Research limitations/implications – The small sample size may limit the external validity of findings to other preschool institutions. Future replications of the study are needed with larger, representative samples. Originality/value – The paper indicates that the knowledge and skills of proper handwashing of preschool children can be positively influenced by the use of a structured education programme. The results of the study suggest some implications for preschool educators, parents, and school health educators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-16
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Children (age groups)
  • Nursery education
  • Personal hygiene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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