Kimberly-Clark Professional is to collaborate with Disney in its new campaign to improve hand hygiene among children. Data published by the Department of Education has revealed that every day, thousands of children across the UK are absent from nurseries and schools due to minor illnesses, often spread by poor hand hygiene. Independent studies have also shown that regular hand washing among school children can greatly lower absenteeism, by reducing the spread of the germs that cause illnesses such as common colds, coughs and stomach upsets.
In response to this, Kimberly-Clark Professional has launched a new initiative named The Healthy Schools Project to improve hand hygiene amongst young children in schools and nurseries. The project will provide free resources including lesson plans about hand hygiene to all schools and nurseries taking part, which teachers can integrate into their curriculum.
In addition, Kimberly-Clark Professional will also display popular Disney characters on a new range of printed hand hygiene dispensers, as well as on a series of colourful posters for bathroom walls. These will be created to convey the key messages of the programme in a fun way that appeals to children, featuring characters including Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck.
This child-friendly campaign aims to help teachers reinforce positive messages about the benefits of good hand hygiene while engaging children to take greater responsibility in washing their hands.
Dr Louise Vickerman, education manager at Kimberly-Clark Professional, said: “It makes sense to introduce good hand hygiene to children when they're young so that it stays with them their whole lives. By involving images of beloved Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, they are more likely to engage in the activity and learn about the importance of hand washing.”
Philippe Roucoule, director, food, health and beauty, The Walt Disney Company, added: “We found that when a child connects with a character they are more likely to choose a healthier option, whether this is making a healthier food choice, or in this case practising good hand hygiene. Disney characters resonate with children of all ages and we're pleased that some of our most established characters are featuring in the new campaign by Kimberly-Clark Professional. Our characters are a great way to engage children and we look forward to them making their way into schools across the UK and Germany as part of The Healthy Schools
The Healthy Schools Project launched in schools and nurseries across the UK and in Germany in January 2013, with a view to further expand into other European countries.