It’s always been important for children to practice good hand-washing practices. But COVID-19 has underscored the importance of this habit.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand washing with water and soap could lessen to the tune of 50% incidents of diarrheal disease-related deaths. So there’s something to be said for hand washing.
But children have to be taught proper hand-washing techniques — and they need to know when to put them into practice. That’s where you come in.
They need to know, for instance, that it’s important for them to wash their hands properly after using the bathroom, before eating, after coughing into their hands, to get food coloring off hands, or after playing with pets.
What follows is a look at some handwashing steps you can use to teach your kids. Even better, wash your hands with them to model the right technique.
Hand Washing Starts with Wetting Hands
Your first order of business when teaching kids to wash their hands is to get them to turn on the faucet so that the water is warm. Then let them wet their hands. After they’ve wet their hands, have them turn off the tap.
Soap Up and Lather Well
After your children have wet their hands and have shut off the faucet, get them to apply some soap and to lather well. Be sure to demonstrate this step by doing it along with them. They will benefit if they see you lathering.
Have them lather up for 20 seconds to 30 seconds. It will help if you get them to count while they lather so that they get used to the process. If they don’t do it long enough, they won’t get the benefits. So practice is crucial.
Rub Hands Together
The next step is to have your kids rub their hands together at a fast clip. While they’re doing so, also get them to focus on the back of their hands, between their fingers, their wrists, and even beneath their fingernails.
You’ll want to let them know that it’s important to be thorough so that their hands are properly cleaned.
You’ll next want to have your children turn on the tap so that the water’s warm. They will then rinse their hands so that all the soapy residue is removed. This will require them to rub their hands together under the water.
The water should be as warm as your children can tolerate. And they should rinse their hands long enough to remove the soap.
The final step is to have your children turn off the tap and use a clean towel or paper towel to thoroughly dry their hands.
Proper Hand Washing is Key
Teaching your kids how to wash hands is critically important, since proper hygiene can keep them and others safe. When demonstrating proper hand washing for kids, you’ll be teaching them to do so independently.
So take the time to teach your kids, and let them know why it’s important. Sometimes kids take things more seriously when they realize the reasons behind their being asked to adopt certain practices.
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