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Early Years: Respiratory Hygiene

This lesson supports children to learn how easily harmful germs can spread through sneezing.

Scroll down to find out more and to download the resources.

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Learning objectives
All students will:
  • That sneezing into a tissue, or into a sleeve is the best way to stop the spread of cold and flu germs
  • That there can be harmful germs in sneezes that can spread over hands
  • The sequencing of hand washing and nose blowing
Most students will:


Background Information

Respiratory infections are infections that happen in the lungs, chest, sinuses, nose and throat, for example, coughs and colds, the flu and pneumonia. These infections can spread from person-to-person through the air, through person-to-person contact (touching hands, hugging, kissing) or by touching contaminated surfaces.

Teaching good respiratory hygiene from a young age, such as covering your coughs and sneezes or regularly washing your hands for 20 seconds, can help prevent the spread of these infections.

This lesson plan supports you to educate students on what good respiratory hygiene looks like and how to practice it.

Main activity:
  • Paint Sneezes
Main Activity video
Extension activities:
  • Hand Washing and Nose Blowing Flashcards
  • Nose Blowing Writing Activity
Curriculum links

Communication and language development:

  • Listening and attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking

Physical development:

  • Health and self-care

Expressive arts and design:

  • Exploring and using media and materials
Supporting Materials
Teacher sheets
Respiratory Hygiene teacher guidance
Student worksheets
SW1 Picture Sequencing