I remember when my son was little how hard it was to make sure he kept his hands clean. Teaching hand washing techniques to young children can be tough but with all of the germs they encounter at school and while out playing, it is something that we have to continually remind them to do. We know that the correct hand washing procedures will help to prevent the spread of germs, cold and flu viruses and more nasty things.
1. Start running your tap water. The water should be warm but not hot. They should always test out the temperature of the water using just one finger so that they don’t injure their entire hand if the water is too hot.
2. Children can use any type of soap (liquid soap, bar soap or antibacterial soap) and only need a little bit of soap to effectively wash their hands.
3. Have them squirt a little bit of soap into each hand (if using liquid soap) and have them rub their hands together to make a nice soapy lather. Teach them how to get between each of their fingers, wash around their wrists and several inches up their forearm. A good rule of them is to have them “wash” their hands for at least 20 seconds with 30 seconds being optimal.
4. Rinse hands, wrists and lower forearm area under warm running water until the soapy residue is gone.
5. If using a public restroom teach them how to use a clean paper towel to turn off the water (on the faucet handles) and to dispose of the paper towel into the trash without touching the trash can lid. Depending on where we are, I also share to use that towel to open the rest room doors and throw out the towel in a different trash can once outside the restroom.
I know we have to keep reminding the how to wash right, but if it helps us to stay healthy, then it is worth it! Do you have an special tips that you use with your kids?