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Help Children be Better at Handwashing

It may seem second nature to some, but many people are unaware of proper handwashing protocol and technique, especially young children. School-aged children can be some of the biggest perpetrators when it comes to handwashing mistakes. Teaching your child how to wash their hands is no easy task, but it can help them avoid getting sick and spreading germs. You can make hand washing easier by making it more fun for your child!

HOW TO PROPERLY WASH YOUR HANDS:

  1. Wet your hands with warm water.
  2. Lather up with soap.
  3. Take the time to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Wrists too!
  4. Scrub your hands for 20 seconds.
  5. Rinse your hands well under warm, running water.
  6. Dry your hands using a clean towel.

WHEN SHOULD CHILDREN WASH THEIR HANDS?

There is never a bad time to take a moment and wash your hands, but below is a shortlist of opportune times for children to do so.

  • after blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • before eating and cooking
  • when using the bathroom
  • after touching animals
  • when getting home from school
  • after being outside (playing, gardening, walking the dog, etc.)

HOW TO MAKE HAND WASHING FUN:

  • Sing along! “Happy Birthday,” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” are great options.
  • Make a chart! Every time a child properly washes their hands, they get a sticker. Once they’ve received a certain number of stickers, give them a small reward.
  • You love soaps, and kids love soaps, too! Make it a fun experience by getting children soap with their favorite cartoon on the front or have them pick out scents they like.

Don’t forget, if warm water and soap aren’t available, use hand sanitizer! Hand sanitizer is available in various sizes, container shapes, and scents, too. Keep a small container of hand sanitizer in your purse or diaper bag for those unexpected moments. You can even put one in your child’s school backpack for safekeeping.

All ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care centers offer free travel-sized hand sanitizer and are open 363 days a year if your child does happen to become sick. Click here to find a center near you.