“And don’t forget to wash your hands” You find yourself saying, three to thirty times a day at least. The truth is kids don’t always listen nor do they quite understand the importance of washing your hands before a meal or after using the bathroom, so you need to be persistent and have patience because hand washing is your child’s best defense against not getting sick and preventing germs from spreading.
Germs can be transmitted many ways, including:
- Touching dirty hands
- Changing diapers
- Through water or food that has been contaminated
- Droplets released during a cough or a sneeze
- Contaminated surfaces
- Contact with a sick person’s body fluids
Proper Hand Washing Technique
Try washing your hands together or buying a “funner” soap for kids – I know that sounds crazy but kids are more likely to use soap that isn’t in a bar form, so try a foaming hand wash.
Teach your kids the proper technique:
- Wash your hands in basic warm water without soap, not too hot though – you want to make sure the water won’t burn their hands. The hot water is something we forget about since we have a higher threshold for temperatures.
- Lather with soap for about 20 seconds. Make sure you lather between the fingers, under the nails where those nasty little germs like to hang out. And don’t forget the wrists!
- Rinse and dry well with a clean towel.
When to Wash
- Before eating and cooking
- After using the bathroom
- After cleaning
- After touching pets or animals
- Before and after visiting or taking care of any sick friends or relatives
- After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After being outside playing
- After gardening or being in the backyard
Here’s a guide you may want to post in your bathroom if your little ones haven’t quite got the routine down yet: