Helping Children Wash Their Hands

August 16, 2013

child  washing handsWith the busy flu season, it is important to remember why hand hygiene is so important. By keeping your hands clean you can reduce spreading germs. You can practice this at home, but you can also talk with your child care provider to make sure they have hand-washing policies in place as well. The more your child hears the message, the more likely he or she will practice good hand-washing habits.

Here are some tips to for hand-washing, adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

When to Wash Hands:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or  wound
  • After using the rest room
  • After changing a diaper or assisting a child who has used the rest room
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal or animal waste
  • After touching garbage

How to Wash Hands:

  • Wet hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap
  • Encourage your child to scrub both the front and back of their hands, between their fingers, and under their nails
  • Rub hands together for 20 seconds (a good point of reference is singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice)
  • Rinse hands well
  • Dry hands thoroughly with a clean towel or air dry them

For more information, check out the CDC’s hand-washing initiative.

Topics: Best Practices, Parenting

National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team

Written by National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team

A program of Child Care Aware® of America, the National Child Care Information & Referral Center has served as our nation’s most respected hub of child care information for parents and child care providers. The team has helped families and providers connect with their local Child Care Resource and Referral office (CCR&R) and locate other child care resources in their communities across the United States since 1992.