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Teaching the Importance of Handwashing

By Donna Stark

Even though there is an actual National Handwashing Awareness Week, I am fairly confident that most of us are already aware of how important that act is, especially after the year we have been having. Over and over again, we have been told to wash our hands and keep our fingers away from our face ... and for good reason too. Germs can invade the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth, and since we touch our faces more than we think we do, it is vital to keep them off our hands!

A Necessary Habit

Everyone needs to make proper handwashing a part of their everyday life, including young children! So parents, are you ready to give yours the lesson of a lifetime? Here are six easy steps to teach them that will help prevent the invasion of germs and keep everyone in the home a little bit healthier. Take a look.

  • Wet hands and apply some soap
  • Spread the soap around to every part of the hands by rubbing them together
  • Remember to clean under the nails too
  • Keep scrubbing for at least 20 to 30 seconds
  • Rinse the soap off with running water
  • Use a clean towel, paper towel, or air dryer to dry them

Your Children's Hands Are Clean, Now What?

Now that your children know the proper way to wash their hands, it's time to teach them the when. What are the best times and when should they practice this healthy habit? Well, some of the times are very obvious but they may need to be reminded about the others. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before snacks and meals
  • After bathroom use
  • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose
  • After touching garbage or garbage can lids
  • After touching pets and their food
  • After being around someone who is sick
  • After being outside

If your child doesn't have access to soap and water, you can always have them carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with them, but washing their hands should always be encouraged first.

Keeping Everyone as Healthy as Can Be

It's an easy thing to remember. Clean hands are the first line of defense against those pesky germs so make sure you are setting a good example at home and see to it that your children understand the importance of handwashing. It could make all the difference in the world.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Parma, Ohio.

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