Home Lifestyle Lifebuoy Unveils H for Handwashing Games: Unlocking Hygiene Through Play

Lifebuoy Unveils H for Handwashing Games: Unlocking Hygiene Through Play

Students engage in a hands-on lesson on germ transmission by exchanging blue or red glitter-coated balls and high-fiving their friends, and practising removing the glitter germs through handwashing with Lifebuoy soap.

Lifebuoy is on a mission to reignite the relevance of hygiene through its H for Handwashing Games through the power of play with reimagined iconic board games.

Kuala Lumpur, 12 December 2023 – Infectious diseases spread rapidly and are a real concern to public health. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) is a prime example, which mainly affects young school-age children. In response, Lifebuoy is actively supporting efforts to combat infectious diseases through its ‘H for Handwashing Games’ initiative, placing special emphasis on HFMD awareness due to its highly contagious nature and the impact it has on children’s health. This initiative is designed to promote handwashing through play, recognizing the crucial role of constant vigilance in preventing transmission and ensuring a child’s well-being.

Demonstration of the seven steps of handwashing and the importance of hand hygiene, using paint to symbolize soap and thorough cleansing of hands for the students of Prasekolah SK Seri Permaisuri Cheras.

“When my child is sick, it is very heartbreaking for me, especially when I have to explain to my other children why they need to be separated. Even as a stay-at-home mom, balancing family care with a sick child is taxing mentally and physically. I can only imagine the challenge for working moms. So, I am very sensitive to cleanliness to avoid diseases that are easily contagious, always washing my hands, wiping down surfaces, and working hard to instill hygiene habits in my children,” said Puan Surieza binti Sudirman.

Puan Siti Azila binti Ahmad added, “Although my child has never been infected with HFMD, I always worry especially when my child has a fever. I do not want my other children to be infected as well. In addition, my child has skin issues that often need to be medicated. Therefore, in my family, it has become a habit to wash hands with soap, always keeping clothes clean, and make sure my children’s personal hygiene is taken care of.”

Students of Prasekolah SK Seri Permaisuri Cheras playing ‘Germs & Ladder’ from the H for Handwashing games kit, fighting illness-causing germs using the power of soap to avoid set-backs in their climb up the ladder of hygiene.

Moreover, when a child is sick and absent, they not only miss out on valuable school days but also on important social interactions and opportunities to learn new things. Puan Ain Nadhirah said, “As a teacher, I observed that children often need to work harder to catch up with their peers when they have been absent. To ensure that the rest of the class is not affected, we also have to create workbooks to cater to this now varying pace of syllabus. On top of that, children who are unwell are usually less active in class, which makes it more challenging for us to involve them in class activities, hindering their ability to absorb and participate in learning.

“For this reason, it is vital that parents impart good hygiene habits at home, while we as teachers reinforce these habits in school. This is important to their holistic development.”

Recent studies indicate a trend of post-pandemic hygiene fatigue with a decline in handwashing rates – from 78% in March 2020 to 59% in September 2021[i]. This fatigue adds an extra challenge, emphasizing the crucial need to reignite healthy hand hygiene habits to tackle this fatigue and prevent avoidable infections.

With this intention, Lifebuoy took a hands-on role in piloting the ‘H for Handwashing Games’ kits with 75 SK Seri Permaisuri Cheras students. This session also involved Unilever representatives who joined the students to experience the interactive gameplay and facilitated essential hand hygiene lessons.

These kits include a collection of four reimagined boardgames “Germs & Ladders”, “Handwashing Ludo”, “Soap-Tac-Toe” and “Lose the Germs”. This resource will provide schools with interactive tools to incorporate handwashing education into their curriculum. Furthermore, the kits will soon be extended to a wider range of schools, including within the Orang Asli communities.

Research has shown that play is central to a child’s learning and development, offering numerous opportunities for them to acquire essential life skills[ii]. H for Handwashing Games is crafted in collaboration with esteemed experts in the field of play, hygiene and education, and Toy Design Company, Imagimake. The games merge entertainment with hygiene, aligning with Lifebuoy’s behavior change principles, making handwashing more memorable and a part of the player’s muscle memory.

Lifebuoy in partnership with Guardian donated Lifebuoy hygiene essentials and Guardian wet wipes to Prasekolah SK Seri Permaisuri Cheras and the students, further reinforcing their dedication to promoting hygiene and well-being in communities

Students and parents of SK Seri Permaisuri Cheras also pledged to champion the habit of handwashing with soap, ensuring a lasting impact on hygiene behavior even after playtime. This initiative aims to draw attention to the importance of handwashing and equip children with the knowledge and habit of proper hand hygiene to prevent the transmission of germs.

Simultaneously, Lifebuoy, in partnership with Guardian has donated Lifebuoy handwash, bodywash, wet wipes, multipurpose cleaning spray and liquids to the students and schools, further reinforcing their dedication to promoting hygiene and well-being in communities.

“At the core of our brand’s purpose lies our unwavering mission to inspire and foster good hygiene habits that last a lifetime,” said Lenny Chuah, Head of Country, Unilever Malaysia and Country Business Unit Lead of Personal Care in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. “It is this mission that continues to drive us forward, propelling us as a powerful leader in the industry. We believe we can make the vital habit of handwashing a fun and engaging experience for children, even in the post-pandemic era. By doing so, we enable them to embrace it as a natural part of their daily routine and empower the youngest members of our society to become advocates for good hygiene practices.”

Driven by a larger purpose, Lifebuoy’s goal is to help one million students in Malaysia adopt good handwashing habits by 2025.

[i] Ipsos, on behalf of the American Cleansing Institute

[ii] Reimagining hand hygiene education: Lifebuoy’s play and learn approach. https://www.lifebuoy.com/sk-eu/content/dam/brands/lifebuoy/global_use/White_Paper_Oct_2023.pdf.



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