Lather Up: Tips for Healthy Handwashing Habits
One of the most effective ways to keep your children healthy is to teach them the importance of frequent and regular handwashing, with some soap, water, and persistence. Some kids don’t cooperate as easily as others, but they will in time. Here are some easy tips to get them excited about lathering up:
Make It a Habit
Just like brushing their teeth and hair, make washing hands a habit that will stick. Forming this habit while your children are young will make it second-nature to them as they grow. As adults, we are constantly washing our hands when we touch something dirty or use the restroom. Modeling this for your children will teach them to follow the same pattern.
Scrub, Scrub, Scrub
Teach your children how to properly scrub between their fingers, underneath their fingernails, and around their nails. Germs are everywhere, but they tend to concentrate in those particular areas of your hands. Grab some natural soap and scrub!
Make it Fun – Sing!
Did you know that it’s ideal to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to effectively remove germs? The length you wash truly matters, and the younger you teach your kids this concept, the better it will stick as they get older. Have your children sing the ABC’s or Happy Birthday twice, which is about the right length of time. If they know how to count to 20, you can also teach them to count as an alternative to singing. Make handwashing fun, and your children will be more apt to follow along.
Use Cool Water
Many parents often assume that hot water is best for washing hands. It turns out, however, that cool water removes the microbes just as well. Cool water may also be more gentle on the skin since it does not dry it out nearly as much.
Educate, Educate, Educate
By teaching your children about microbes and germs, they may be more inclined to stick to a handwashing routine with you. Consider purchasing a book about germs and explain how kids can acquire germs from other people, showing them that it’s vital to wash their hands. Additionally, going into age-appropriate detail about how germs can make them sick may also be beneficial to their learning.
Do you have any other handwashing tips to effectively form healthy habits for kids? Let us know! We would love to hear your ideas.
[bctt tweet=”Lather up to blast those germs away”]