A novel method of encouraging children to wash their hands has been devised in India.
Entrepreneurs and hygiene authorities have come up with a water pump that can be activated by children jumping on a rocking horse.
Playing on the Jump Pump is said to be both easier and more fun than using a heavy, hand-operated pump to dispense clean water.
“Sometimes the best way to teach kids an important lesson is to distract them into learning,” said one of the creators of the Jump Pump initiative Rahul Saigal. “You can’t engage children by mere preaching – you need to talk to them in a language they understand: the language of play.”
Diarrhoea is a major killer of children in India and poor hand hygiene has been implicated as a factor behind the deaths.
“We need to keep pushing the limits of creativity to help solve basic problems like poor hygiene,” said Jump Pump developer Vipul Salvi. “The great thing about the Jump Pump is that it worked like a charm with kids while being cost-effective and easy to implement.”
• Teaching children via the language of play is also the thinking behind a new Tork app that informs pre-school and primary school pupils how and when to wash their hands.
Ella’s Hand Washing Adventure uses a cartoon-based story to demonstrate the importance of hand hygiene to children aged three to seven. The app, which works on Apple iPads and Android tablets, can be accessed either via the “Apple app store” or on “Google Play“.