girl washing hands

It’s extremely important to get your children into the habit of washing their hands. Frequent hand washing, when performed correctly, can help remove harmful bacteria and viruses that you or your child may have picked up from other people, contaminated surfaces, or from animals or animal waste”, says Debra Holtzman, an internationally acclaimed safety and health expert and popular author of “The Safe Baby: A Do-it-yourself Guide to Home Safety” (Sentient Publications).

Hand washing 101:

1.Wet your hands under warm running water
2. Apply a mild liquid soap or clean bar soap
3. Rub your hands together vigorously until a soapy lather appears. Continue for at least 20 seconds.
4. Scrub under the fingernails, between fingers and around the tops and palms of the hands.
5. Rinse thoroughly under warm running water.
6. Dry hands with a clean, dry towel or paper towel.
7. Teach your young child how to wash his hands. Make it fun by singing a song (such as the alphabet song) and add your own words while you dry your hands together.

When children (and parents) need to wash their hands:

-Before eating and after eating
-After using the bathroom or having their diapers changed
-After blowing their nose
-After handling pets, pet cages or other pet objects

Important Note: Tiny pet turtles (which are illegal to sell in the United States) were to blame as the source of a nationwide salmonella outbreak which sickened more than 100 people (most of the cases were children under the age of 10) and hospitalized at least 24 in the largest recorded outbreak of its kind.

-After playing outdoors
-When their hands are visibly dirty
-More frequently when someone in his or her home is sick

Other times when parents, caregivers or older children need to wash:

-Before, during and after preparing food
-Immediately before preparing bottles or feeding children
-Before giving or applying medication to child or self
-After handling animal waste
-After wiping child’s runny nose or cleaning up spit or vomit, or similar substances
-After assisting child in using the toilet or changing diaper
-After cleaning the house
-After working or gardening outdoors
-After handling trash
-After removing gloves used for any purpose

Lastly, if you have an infected sore or cut or have been sick with vomiting or diarrhea, do not prepare or handle food. The germs that are making you sick can easily be passed to your family.

Debra Holtzman has a master’s degree in Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) and is an attorney. She appeared on major TV news and radio shows around the world and was chosen a Reader’s Digest Everyday Hero. “The Safe Baby: A Do-it-Yourself Guide to Home Safety” (Sentient Publications) offers parents economically, easy-to-implement solutions to provide a safe, healthy, and green living lifestyle for children, dogs, and cats. https://thesafetyexpert.com

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Greta Jenkins

Greta Jenkins

Greta Jenkins is a writer mom, nurse and a community volunteer. She is the author of various articles about home and family life and has been featured in parenting magazines and newspapers.
Greta Jenkins
https://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2017/08/14239608949_ae9592e720_z.jpghttps://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2017/08/14239608949_ae9592e720_z-150x150.jpgGreta JenkinsChild SafetyFamily Safety Tips'It's extremely important to get your children into the habit of washing their hands. Frequent hand washing, when performed correctly, can help remove harmful bacteria and viruses that you or your child may have picked up from other people, contaminated surfaces, or from animals or animal waste', says Debra...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids