Desist from unhealthy habits

BY: Priscilla Asantewaa Obeng
Picking your nose is one of the unhealthy habits that can expose you to corona virus.

A Medical Officer at the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital, Akuapem Mampong, Dr Serwaa Yeboah-Duah, has asked parents and teachers to encourage children to desist from unhealthy habits that can expose them to COVID-19.

She explained that habits such as picking their noses, rubbing their eyes, biting of fingernails and sucking of fingers, as well as playing on the floor during this period of upsurge in the coronavirus cases could be dangerous.

Dr Yeboah-Duah told the Junior Graphic that if children avoided those unhealthy habits and observed all thesafety protocols, they could protect themselves against the virus and other related diseases.

The medical officer explained that when children played on the floor and put their fingers in their mouths, they were likely to pick up virus particles or germs unknowingly into their bodies.

She advised children not to share food or water from the same bottle or sachet with friends so they could always be safe from COVID-19 and other diseases.

“Do not give out your spoons, bowls, bottles and masks to friends at school. This will help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” she cautioned.

She said coronavirus or germs could enter the body through mucus from the mouth, nose, eyes and ears, “so avoid these unhealthy habits”.

Apart from COVID-19, Dr Yeboah-Duah stressed that children were likely to contract other diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera, dysentery and enteric fever when they frequently indulged in unhygienic habits at home or at school.

She encouraged children to eat more fruits during break instead of drinks or ice cream in order to boost their immune system.

She explained that compliance by children was quite difficult, especially for the younger ones, and appealed to teachers to speak to them softly and in simple terms.

“They understand when we make things playful and simple for them. Instead of scolding we can talk to them softly,” she added.

Teachers, she said, could come up with incentives or rewards for well-behaved children to encourage others to desist from unhygienic habits.

The medical officer said colourful visuals and animations could be used to teach them about the need to desist from those unhealthy habits at school.

She encouraged children to be very obedient and listen to their teachers, parents and guardians so they could be protected during these times that COVID-19 was on the rise.