It is beginning to look like fall and families are gathering, so let’s encourage handwashing.
Parents with young children often are concerned about the sniffles and other illnesses their children seem to bring home from school and day-care facilities. By encouraging one simple personal hygiene technique, parents could reduce the risk of illness in their children and themselves.
One of the best measures to prevent disease is regular handwashing with antibacterial products. You and your children should develop a habit of regular and proper handwashing.
Show your children how to wash their hands correctly.
Use warm water and antibacterial soap. Lather the hands thoroughly rubbing all surfaces of the hands and wrists.
Use a nail brush to clean under nails.
Research has shown at least 20 seconds of handwashing is needed to remove or kill bacteria on hands.
Rinse all soap from hands and dry thoroughly.
Paper towels are disposable while cloth towels could be a breeding ground for bacteria.
After you teach your children how to wash their hands correctly, teach them when they need to wash their hands.
A good rule would be to wash hands after every bathroom visit, before eating or drinking anything and after playing with toys or pets.
Most important, parents and other caregivers must model good behaviors.
Children learn by example and observation. If you don’t wash your hands before eating a snack, they may believe they don’t need to either.
For more information about this topic or other human nutrition, diet and health questions, please contact Helen Jones, Regional Extension Agent, Human Nutrition, Diet and Health, at 334-201-6775 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.