The importance of hand washing
Teaching children about hand washing is not just important to keep them healthier in childhood... but all through life.
Hand washing really is our best defence against many kinds of bacteria and viruses that cause infection. Children typically don’t like to take the time to wash their hands therefore it is very important that they are shown the correct techniques to do so and be guided to when they should wash their hands.
Children learn best through their senses, and benefit from doing and seeing as well as hearing. A good idea is to let them see you washing your hands throughout the day and also to wash your hands with them.
At Crawford Childcare we sing two versus of the “Happy Birthday” song while washing our hands which lasts around 20 seconds – the recommended time that a child should spend washing their hands.
Here's how to scrub those germs away. Teach this routine to your kids — or better yet, wash your hands together often so they learn how important this good habit is:
1. Wash your hands in warm water. Make sure the water isn't too hot for little hands.
2. Use soap and lather up for about 20 seconds (antibacterial soap isn't necessary — any mild soap will do – be aware perfumes or other chemicals added by the manufacturer may cause irritation to sensitive skins though). Make sure you get in between the fingers, the palms of the hands, backs of the hands, thumbs and under the nails where germs like to hang out. And don't forget the wrists!
3. Rinse and dry well with a clean towel.
At Crawford Childcare we have child sized sinks in the classrooms and the toilets which allow the children to wash their hands independently. Above each sink, at child eye level are laminated posters to remind children how to wash their hands correctly along with a poster of times when we should wash our hands. These include after; playing with pets, using the bathroom, sneezing, blowing your nose and coughing, touching a cut or open sore, playing outside and before eating food. There’s a lot to remember!