Handwashing

January 10, 2014

sinksoap

 

 

It’s illness season- between coughs, colds, the flu and stomach bugs, there are lots of contagious sicknesses out there! What is the best way to protect yourself and your children?

 

Wash your  hands!

When should you wash your hands?

  • Before eating
  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • After using the toilet or helping your child use the toilet
  • After diaper changes
  • After touching your pet and even your pet’s food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick or injured
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After touching garbage or other waste

How should I teach my child to wash their hands?

  • Be a good role model!
  • Wet hands with clean, running water- even cold is ok
  • Apply soap and lather the whole hand, including between fingers
  • Scrub for at least 20 seconds- you can sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or Happy Birthday twice
  • Rinse under clean, running water
  • Dry your hands well with a clean towel or air dry them

What about hand sanitizer?

  • It definitely helps reduce the number of germs on your hands, although it does not eliminate all germs.
  • It doesn’t work as well as soap and water when hands are greasy or have visible dirt.
  • Look for one with at least 60% alcohol

Why is handwashing so important?

  • Germs enter your body through your mouth, nose, eyes.  Watch the people around you- how often are they touching their mouth, nose or eyes?
  • Germs can stick on objects, like railings, door handles, phones, toys and then get transferred to your hands.
  • Lots of people rinse their hands with water- make sure you use soap!  It removes many more of the germs.  Liquid soap is better than bar soap as germs can grow on bar soap and spread from person to person, but is ok to use in your household if there are no skin infections on any of your family members.

Don’t underestimate the illness-fighting power of simple soap and water!  The minute you spend washing can help keep you and your family healthy!

For more information:

http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html

http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/sick/hand_washing.html#

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