funny and joyful baby shows his soapy palms. Copy-space. Prevention of diseases with viruses and flu. The exposure time of the soap is at least 20 seconds. Studio photo, banner, isolated.

Tork, an Essity brand, launched the Ella’s Handwashing Adventure app, optimized for smartphones and tablets, in North America. The 2020 global pandemic has proven that handwashing is essential and headed into this year’s cold and flu season, hand hygiene has never been more critical. The app offers a range of playful materials to support pre-school and kindergarten teachers and staff in addressing handwashing with small children ages three to six, according to a press release from Tork. All materials feature "Ella" – a cartoon character and recurring guide developed with input from young children that kids can play together with and learn from. The app has already been downloaded more than 56,000 times globally and is being used in pre-schools and kindergartens around the world.

Now more than ever, it is critical to teach young children the importance of hand hygiene. Yet 47.6 percent of parents don’t know what procedures their child’s pre-school has in place for hand hygiene, and more than 85 percent of parents need to remind or nag their kids to wash their hands. The simple act of handwashing effectively helps prevent infections, particularly among children in busy pre-school and kindergarten environments as they constantly use their hands to explore food, toys and more.

"It is imperative to introduce hand hygiene education early in order to form healthy, life-long habits,” says Rachel Olsavicky, regional marketing manager, Commercial & Public Interest, Essity Professional Hygiene. “Tork has worked with schools for many years, and Ella’s Handwashing Adventure is a part of our commitment to bring hygiene top of mind. By introducing inspiring and playful tools for children, we aim to minimize infections, reduce sick leave, and reduce the burden on parents and teachers.”

The Ella’s Handwashing Adventure app and a variety of playful and engaging materials have now been compiled into a toolkit for pre-schools and kindergartens - available online for free as part of the Tork Clean Care program. The materials available include:

- Presentations, brochures and leaflets with an introduction to the Ella toolkit, information about hand hygiene as well as games, tips and tricks to teach handwashing to pre-schoolers and kindergartners.

- A colorful poster of different situations where it’s more important or less important to wash hands.

- Other interactive materials to engage children, such as an Ella coloring poster and an Ella Diploma.

For older children aged 6-10, Max’s Handwashing School materials can be found here.

Ella’s Handwashing Adventure can be downloaded via App Store or Google Play.