It’s no mystery: 2020 is the year for clean hands.
With an added emphasis on hand washing and sanitizing, people all over the world are trying to find new ways to get it right so they can protect themselves and their families against germs. Yes, there is a right way to do it!
Your little ones are home now more than ever, making this the perfect opportunity to teach them healthy hand washing habits as a family activity that is both fun and educational!
Here are 3 tips to help your kids develop healthy hand washing habits:
Take 20 Seconds To Do The Dirty Work
Did you know that washing your hands in warm water for 20-30 seconds (vs. a typical five seconds) can decrease bacterial presence by 95%? All you need is two pumps of foamy soap, two hands and a fun exercise to play while your little one scrubs their way clean. Have them sing the “ABCs” while scrubbing to encourage almost 30 seconds of fun + clean time. If that doesn’t work, have them count all of their fingers and toes, taking one second each (that’s 20 seconds total, just in case you were wondering).
Dry Those Hands
When there is moisture on the skin, bacteria has the chance to rebound faster—literally slipping through the cracks! Drying both your and your child’s hands might seem obvious (and simple), but ensuring that those hands are thoroughly dried will keep you closer to clean hands and better health. When in doubt, paper towels or washable cloth towels are the way to go when it comes to a fool-proof system.
What about public restrooms, where a hot air dryer is the only option? Consider avoiding it completely and opt for a t-shirt or napkin instead. Even the best electric hand dryers take bacteria from the air in the restroom and disperse it all over your clothes and throughout the air. Gross!
Be Prepared To Clean On The Go
If you’re away from a sink or running water and are running essential errands or taking your child to a necessary medical appointment, etc., make sure you have some hand sanitizer at the ready. Per CDC recommendations, your hand sanitizer should be made up of at least 60% alcohol in order to be truly effective. Most hand sanitizers have a pungent alcohol smell, making them less appealing to children. To keep kids engaged, choose a sanitizer that is tough on dirt and grease, while gentle on the nose.
Pro Tip: Although hand sanitizer is a great to-go solution when a conventional hand washing regimen is out of reach, it does not replace good ol’ water and soap. Always follow up any hand sanitizer use with an eventual hand washing.
Giving kids the healthy habit of keeping their hands clean might take a couple of handshake agreements (in your own home, please!), but once they realize that staying healthy is just as fun as touching absolutely everything around them, they might just be teaching you a couple of tricks.