Health Education

About this guide

The Germ's Journey MESH Guide reports on the use of interactive resources to teach children about microbiology, hand-hygiene and infection control. The guide demonstrates the need for education in this area, science for young children and how using an integrated interactive approach with specifically design educational resources can increase children's understanding in this topic area.

How to use this guide

Once you have read this guide you will be able to access the educational resources at and apply  them in your setting as you see appropriate.  For further information on pedagogical strategies see the research paper, or in brief: we suggest you adopt an integrated interactive approach using the varied, specifically designed, resources (book, website games, colouring, glo-gel activity) in a carousel workshop.

Case studies

This study is under review in the Journal of Early Years Education, the study reports the findings of a mixed method research study (qualitative and quantitative) on the effectiveness of specifically developed learning resources and workshops on handwashing for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in the UK. The A Germ's Journey educational resources were developed to aid both young children's understanding and engagement with microbiology and hand-hygiene, currently there are limited learning resources that teach young children about the cause and effect of germs.

Online Communities

Areas for further research

Editor's Comments

"Basic knowledge about how to limit the spread of viruses and bacteria is fundamental to healthy living and the knowledge in this guide will be new to some community members in both developed and developing nations." Sarah Younie.


Transferability (across contexts) 5*

Strength of evidence

Strength of evidence 5*

The forthcoming paper outlines the background to the guide and to its testing in schools. 

Crosby, S., Laird K. & Younie S. (forthcoming, 2018) Interactive Health-Hygiene Education for Early Years: A Germ’s Journey, International Journal of Early Years Education.

Germs: Health Education/Science for Early Years

Dr Katie Laird and Dr Sarah Younie | View as single page | Feedback/Impact
Germs: Health Education/Science for Early Years


Chittleborough CR, Nicholson AL, Basker E, Bell S, Campbell R. (2012). Factors influencing hand washing behaviour in primary schools: process evaluation within a randomized controlled trial. Health Education Resources. 27(6):1055-68

Hugonnet, S. & Pitte (2000). Hand hygiene revisited: Lessons from the past and present. Current Infectious Disease Reports. 2: 484.


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