Dettol and the Sydney Opera House team up to teach hand hygiene to children


Dettol has partnered with the Sydney Opera House to give children hands-on experience in hand hygiene and health.

Since the start of the pandemic, Australian children have been spending time getting creative indoors, with new research revealing that many of them are entertaining themselves with artistic activities such as painting and drawing ( 57%) or crafts (51%).

That’s why Dettol has teamed up with the Sydney Opera House to present Hands On Art – a winter school holiday event supporting children’s learning and encouraging positive hand hygiene habits, through the power of game. And they’re taking it nationally with a “how to” guide for parents across the country.

Hands On Art is a free, creative play-based program presented by Dettol and the Sydney Opera House, aimed at inspiring Australian children to learn simple and important hand hygiene through imagination and creativity. Organized by a team of dynamic local artists, including lead entertainer Curly Fernandez, the event is designed to get kids thinking about the many ways their hands can bring their imaginations to life – and the importance of keeping them clean.

With cold and flu season well underway, good hand hygiene habits are more important than ever to stop the spread of germs. However, nearly one in three parents (29%) struggle to find ways to embed hygiene habits in children.

Research from Dettol in partnership with Researchify found that while 1 in 3 parents were concerned about germs, just over half (57%) were confident about starting conversations about hand hygiene with their children:

  • When it comes to teaching these new habits, 60% of Australian parents believe their children learn best by using their imaginations, while 58% of parents believe children learn best by playing with their hands.
  • When it comes to hand hygiene, more than one in three parents (35%) said their child was 4 years old or older before they knew how to wash/sanitize their hands.
  • The majority of parents (87%) agree that it is important for children to wash or sanitize their hands after using the bathroom.
  • Despite the spread of germs in daily activities, just over half (58%) of parents agreed that it was important for children to wash and sanitize their hands after activities such as painting, and only 51% thought it was important for children to wash and sanitize their hands after seeing friends or family.

Artist Curly Fernandez said, “A child’s most formative years are until age 82, so this is the perfect time to teach them new habits. Doing this by engaging their imaginations ensures these habits are retained, which is why Hands On Art is the perfect way to educate toddlers about hygiene habits they can remember, while having a little – or a lot. ! – of pleasure.

For families across Australia who might not be able to make it to an event, Dettol is taking Hands On Art from the ‘House to your home, with a ‘how-to’ at home by Curly. The at-home resource is the perfect boredom buster for school holidays, helping parents and children create their own Hands On Art Monster or Maiden.

“Creating an art monster or a young girl with your child is rewarding in so many ways,” said Holly McCarthy, Marketing Director of Reckitt Health ANZ.

“By harnessing the power of play through engaging and imaginative activities, children will develop lifelong hygiene habits in a stimulating and interactive environment. Learning these fundamental life skills at an early age is also essential to help stop the spread of germs and improve hygiene outcomes in the community,” she says.

Hands On Art builds on the ongoing partnership between Sydney Opera House and Dettol on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation for All, with a focus on hygiene education. As a Global Goals Partner, Dettol supports the Winter Creative Play program and the Sydney Opera House Center for Creativity, collaborating on engaging and interactive experiences for the next generation of Australians, focused on the importance of healthy habits.


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