When Jade Tonta took a step back from work to focus on her daughter Lulu's early development she wanted to find ways to engage her in self-care practices. One of them was hand washing because Lulu with Down syndrome didn't like getting her hands wet or using soap.
The Wave FM announcer teamed up with Emily Wright last June to create a hand washing song to take Lulu through the proper hand washing process in a fun, easy, entertaining way.
"Lulu loved it, and now happily washes her hands".
It was clear what an important role good hand hygiene has in keeping kids healthy and reducing the spread of infection. So the two mums decided to create educational resources and 'kid' focused products to teach children this all important skill.
HappyHandz results in child care centres and preschools are prompting the two women to spread the word about hand hygiene education ahead of the World Health Organisation Hand Hygiene Day on Sunday.
HappyHandz produces a unique coloured foaming hand wash and sanitisers, alcohol-free sanitisers that clip onto school bags and educational resources such as the catchy hand washing song.
"We have made a hand washing video using a lot of local kids," Jade said.
"It has the song in it. It has actions in it to make it a bit of fun and catchy. The response has been amazing. And Lulu is five now and gone to big school where she has taught her support worker the song. It is so easy to pick the song and actions up. It is great. I am thinking about doing a tooth brushing song next".
The video and other products and resources are all designed to encourage children to be engaged and educated in their own hygiene.
HappyHandz products are being used in a growing number of Illawarra's childcare centres.
And with Big Fat Smile recently coming on board they are now starting to be used in parts of Sydney.
The HappyHandz range will now soon be stocked in local IGAs and pharmacies.
Jade said all the products were locally made at NowChem in Nowra.
"Kids love the animated HappyHandz characters and our jingle that helps them learn good hand hygiene," Mrs Wright said.
"We're making the concept easy and fun. Parents should be mindful of proper child hand hygiene especially in the lead up to the flu season".