Germs: Health Education/Science for Early Years

Dr Katie Laird and Dr Sarah Younie | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

How are microorganisms transmitted?

Pre-school children need to understand where germs come from and how they can be passed on to other children and friends/relatives and cause illness to them.

Faecal – oral route: this is the when faeces particles containing bacteria such as E. coli are introduced to the mouth, this is common in early years children due to inadequate toilet training, difficulties cleaning themselves, coupled with lack of hand washing and then putting their hands into their mouths or biting nails.

Airborne transmission: Viruses such as Rhinovirus (common cold) are transmitted via respiratory droplets produced when people cough or sneeze, they can move large distances in the air due to air currents, these particles are then breathed in by other individuals and the virus has then been transmitted between people. The “catch it, bin it, kill it” campaign by the UK government was a successful intervention on understanding the consequences of poor hygiene practices, however, hand washing is still deemed the best method for the prevention of Rhinovirus and respiratory infections (Turner 2005).