Get Back at School Germs with These Healthy Handwashing Tips!

October 2nd, 2008

As a young Mother, I wanted to teach my three year old daughter some quality health habits.  Hand washing was big in my mind; so I encouraged her to wash her hands after using the bathroom and before meals.  At first, I helped I her wash her hands, demonstrating how to do it while saving water.  One day I decided to cut her loose to try it on her own.  She came out of the bathroom with a big smile on her face;   “You washed your hands, right?” I asked.  “Yes,” she answered proudly, “and I saved even more water.”  “Oh yeah?”  I answered, “How did you do that?”  I expected to hear something along the lines of water conservation with a quick, but good wash.  She gave me cute smile with an answer that left my mouth hanging; “I used the water in the potty!”  Needless to say, we made another fast trip to the bathroom sink.

In today’s fast paced world, hand washing is slowly becoming a thing of the past.  Isn’t it funny that a simple health habit which kills germs and prevents sickness is something that some people are just too busy to do!   In one study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health at the Minnesota State Fair, only 65% of the females along with 39% of the males actually washed their hands after using the bathroom.  It pretty much adds up to one big yuck!

Teach your kids to wash their hands!  Not only will it lower your medical bill, you’ll feel like a really good Mom as you teach them a health habit that they can really hang on to.  Start by teaching them how to lather up with only one pump of soap.  Teach them proper hand washing skills by demonstrating how to squish the soap between their fingers to get all the soap running around the little crevices.  Show your child how to rub the soap into the fingernail to kill any nasty underlying germs.  Also, teach your child how to safely turn on both the hot and cold water to quickly achieve a warm temperature.  Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer near the back door for quick killing germ attacks, especially after playing in the dirt or sand.

Practicing the health habit of good hand washing can carry over into the school years.   Washing hands at school will kill yucky germs and help your whole family to stay healthy.  Tell your child to leave the germs at school by washing their hands after every bathroom break and just before lunch.   Buy some sanitizing wipes that they can keep in their backpack for both hand and face clean ups at school. Most teachers keep hand sanitizer in the classroom.  Ask your child to sanitize regularly after recess.  If the classmate sitting next to them is blowing, coughing or sneezing, tell your child to sanitize more frequently, especially if they have borrowed any school supplies.

The good health habit of hand washing can carry over into the adult years.  If you teach your child well, you can bet that when they grow up and go to the State Fair they will come out of the bathroom with their hands washed!  Oh, and they won’t use the water in the potty.

By:  Debby Hoffer

Entry Filed under: Parenting Tips

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