New book helps children understand the importance of handwashing

As well as following social distancing rules, Covid-19 guidance insists that people continue to uphold high hygiene standards.

Of course, with children that can be hard to monitor. Getting children to understand the importance of handwashing is crucial, but at times challenging.

To support parents, teachers and healthcare workers educate young children about handwashing in relation to viruses like Covid-19, expert researchers at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have partnered with Medina Publishing to produce  a new e-book explaining how germs spread.

Titled ‘Bye-Bye Germs: Be a Handwashing Superhero’ and illustrated by Jules Marinner, the book is the latest release in the ‘Germ’s Journey’ series by microbiologist Dr Katie Laird and education specialist Professor Sarah Younie which raises awareness and communicates the importance of handwashing at a young age.

Dr Laird, who is also head of DMU’s Infectious Disease Research Group stated:

‘Because they cannot see germs, children often don’t understand the need to wash their hands. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have all been told how important it is to wash our hands properly and regularly to prevent the virus spreading, but explaining to children the reasons why is equally as important.

‘We have developed Bye-Bye Germs to teach young children about hand hygiene and help them identify where viruses can be contracted and ways to prevent the spread.’

The new e-book, which is being made freely available for a limited launch period for parents and schools in Leicester, tells the story of siblings Jess and Joe who are on a mission to stop germs spreading after a tickle in Jess’ throat turns into a giant cough and sneeze.

It also includes top tips for how families can prevent the spread at home, a picture guide on how to wash hands properly and a ‘spot the germs’ illustration, to help youngsters identify where viruses can be picked up.

Professor Younie, professor in Education, Innovation and Technology, added:

Bye-Bye Germs is a relevant, up-to-date resource specifically produced to help educate early years children about how germs spread and why we need to wash our hands to prevent viruses like of coronavirus.

‘We have combined our multidisciplinary knowledge to produce an educational resource that helps children to easily digest the science behind the story.’

A print edition of Bye-Bye Germs will be available shortly, ready for the new school term. DMU and Medina Publishing are also planning to translate the book into other languages to reach youngsters, parents and teachers around the world.

To order a free copy of the new Bye-Bye Germs story, email Medina Publishing at:


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