Teaching your children how to properly wash their hands is the best way to prevent illness; not to mention, teaching this at an early age helps your children form good hygiene habits. Everyone comes into contact with germs on a daily basis and those germs can live on surfaces for eight hours, which makes it necessary to wash your hands frequently. In fact, the spread of illness causes over 164 million lost school days each year. Children in particular need a constant reminder to wash their hands, but it must be done the right way in order to be effective.
Go through these steps with your children:
- Turn on warm water.
- Lather with soap while singing “Happy Birthday” or counting to ten twice (this is easier for children to grasp than counting to twenty). Children often miss the spots in between fingers. Teach them to scrub everywhere—palms, the backs of hands, between fingers and even wrists.
- Rinse well under warm water.
- Dry with a clean towel (at home) or a paper towel (in public).
- If your child is old enough to understand this process well, teach him or her to use the paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the bathroom door when in public.
It’s also important to teach your children when to wash their hands. This should include after using the bathroom, before preparing and/or eating food, after sneezing and nose-blowing, after playing outside or with pets and any time hands are visibly soiled. Being aware of germy areas can also help prevent the spread of illness. These areas include bathroom and kitchen faucets, public doorknobs, computer keyboards and mice, shared classroom supplies, refrigerator handles and other areas that are frequently touched by many people.
You may find that your child needs an incentive to partake in proper hand washing. In such cases, you can create a hand washing chart to track each time your child washes properly. Set goals for when you wish your child to wash and offer a prize for accomplishing the goals on a weekly basis. For example, if your child washes his or hands each time he or she uses the bathroom, offer an ice cream treat or small toy at the end of the week. This makes learning the habit fun and healthy!
Stay healthy this cold and flu season. Call Integrity Network Insurance Group at 512-989-6006 for more information on Round Rock health insurance.