As the colder weather approaches, so does the threat of common colds and other yucky sicknesses for our children.
The most effective way to prevent getting sick this season is to wash hands, therefore we need to teach our children the proper hand washing techniques.
Washing hands isn't only for after using the bathroom, below are the appropriate times to wash your hands throughout the day.
- before and after meals
- before and after treating a cut or wound
- after cleaning up the bathroom or lunch table
- after blowing your (or a child's) nose, coughing, sneezing
- after petting an animal or pet food
- after touching garbage
The proper technique involves (1) wetting your hands, (2) apply soap and lather, (3) continue rubbing for at least 20 seconds (Sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice to equal appropriate time), (4) rinse your hands well, (5) dry hands with a clean towel
While it is fairly easy to teach these techniques, some children may have difficulty with the proper procedure. Children with special needs may have trouble following the steps to handwashing, which is important for all children to master.
Visual aids, handwashing songs, and modeling are great ways to help children who need a little extra assistance.
Katherine Zink, ITFS/P