Do you know what it takes to keep your kids healthy and happy? While there’s no magic formula for success, simple habits like regular handwashing can dramatically reduce the incidence of preventable illnesses, including influenza and the common cold. Unfortunately, too many kids aren’t aware of the joys of washing their hands—and parents may not be aware of how to offer easy-to-remember tips that can help. We’re happy to share a few of our favorites.
When Should You Wash Your Hands?
There are a number of situations in which you and your kids should engage in proper handwashing. Some of these may already be familiar:
- After using the bathroom
- After touching a pet or farm animal
- After handling dirt or animal waste
- After making contact with anyone who has a communicable illness
- Before preparing and/or eating food
- Before and after cleaning and dressing a wound
- After taking out the trash
The Science Doesn’t Lie
You’ve no doubt heard that handwashing is an important activity that prevents the spread of germs and disease, but a little refresher on the science behind handwashing might be in order. According to the CDC, about one in three deadly diarrhea infections could be prevented by proper handwashing with soap and water. Such diseases kill more than 2 million small children each year. In the general population, handwashing can prevent more than 20% of all respiratory infections.
How to Make Sure Your Kids’ Hands Are Clean
Showing your children when and how to properly wash their hands will help prevent sickness even when they’re at school and out of your sight. There are several important steps to proper handwashing:
- Wet hands with warm or cold water and apply soap
- Lather the front and back of hands and wrists
- Have your child scrub his or her hands together, including under the fingernails, for at least 20 seconds
- Rinse the soap residue completely
- Use a clean towel or air dryer to dry
Your Friendly Immediate Care Clinic in Southern Georgia
Kids are going to get sick from time to time, but it’s important to give them every opportunity to prevent sniffles, coughs and fevers. As we’ve shown, handwashing is a major help for parents who want to minimize their kids’ sick time and minimize the chance that they’ll catch whatever bugs are going around. To learn more about health-positive habits that your kids will love to follow or to take advantage of our healthcare services, visit one of our convenient locations or fill out our online contact form.