One thing is certain – children are exposed to lots of germs! Hand washing is the best way to prevent germs from spreading and to keep you and your family from getting sick. So it’s important to teach kids why they need to wash their hands and the proper way to do this. Let’s look closer at when to wash your hands and tips and tricks to make sure you’re washing your hands the right way.
When to Wash Your Hands
Below are a few examples of when kids should wash their hands. To help them remember, hang a chart with these guidelines in an easy-to-see place in your home, such as the bathroom mirror or the refrigerator.
Wash your hands…
- After playing outside
- After touching animals
- After using the bathroom
- Before eating or touching food
- After blowing your nose or coughing
- Before and after visiting sick friends or family
The Correct Procedure
Follow these steps for proper hand washing. Have patience. It might take a few reminders for kids to get it right each time.
- Wet your hands with warm water.
- Time for soap. Don’t forget to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Tip: try using a fun scented soap or foam to make this less boring!
- Scrub for 20 seconds – about the time it takes to hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice or say the alphabet slowly. These work as fun timers to ensure you’re washing for the correct length of time.
- Rinse your hands under warm, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel.
Be sure to tell kids that they are helping to prevent the spread of germs and people getting sick. And remember parents- you can spread germs too so get involved and wash your hands too!
Happy hand washing!