So why are parents so fussy about making sure you wash your hands?
The answer is simple
Washing your hands helps protect you from germs. It also helps protect from spreading germs to other people.
First, think about all the things you touched today.
From getting up in the morning (handle on the toilet seat), to what you touched at school, on the bus, in the car, the garbage lid in the kitchen, your shoes .. the list goes on.
Second, did you know, on average, we touch our face over 200 times per day?
This means, any germs our hands pick up from all those things we are touching are now getting on our face too. And when they are on our face, they can get in our mouth and in our nose and in our eyes – and this is how we can get sick from germs.
Even if you stayed home today – you came into contact with germs.
Your doorknob, phone and most you’re your bathroom and even your kitchen is full of germs, so washing your hands is important before every meal, and after every bathroom visit also.
Here are the best times to wash your hands;
1. when your hands are dirty
2. before meals time
3. before eating snacks
4. before handling food (cooking)
5. after using the bathroom
6. after blowing your nose
7. after you cough (you covered your mouth, right?)
8. after playing with or petting any animal or pet
9. when you come in from outside
10. before and after anyone you visit that’s sick (friend or family member).
Here’s how to be a hand-washing expert;
1. Use warm water
2. Use any soap, there are many varieties and they all work fine
3. Work up a nice thick lather, and wash all the way up past the wrist
4. Once you have a nice later, scrub for at least 20 seconds (trick: sing the alphabet twice)
5. Pay special attention to under your nails, this is a germ’s favorite place to hang out
6. Use a nail brush if one is available
7. Rinse and use a clean towel to dry your hands
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Dr. Dina Kulik completed her Pediatrics Residency and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Dina is one of Canada’s leading child health media experts, providing child health information through television, radio, print media, and via her blog DrDina.ca. Above all, Dina’s greatest joy is her family, and being the mom of four crazy boys.