6 Ways to Get Your Kids Excited About Washing Their Hands
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Why wash your hands?
Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to stay healthy and avoid spreading germs, especially during this Covid-19 time. Everything we touch has germs on it, and although many of the germs we encounter on a daily basis are harmless to our health, it is important to take precautions to minimize the risk of getting sick or catching an infection — this is why we wash our hands!
According to the Center for Disease Control, feces from people and animals carry salmonella, E. coli and norovirus that cause diarrhea, and it can also spread respiratory infections like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease. These germs can get onto hands after people use the bathroom or change a diaper, and in less obvious ways such as after handling raw meats or other unprepared foods. Germs enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth, which are frequently touched areas and most important to keep clean.
Knowing how mischievous kids can be, it is likely that their hands explore contaminated surface areas and unsanitary objects that hold harmful bacteria throughout the day. We can admit that washing your hands is a tedious and boring ritual, but nevertheless, very important for our health, and certainly not something you want to neglect educating your children about. Additionally, when teaching your kids about the dangers of germs and the benefits of keeping clean hands, the biggest challenge you will face is how to make this task something fun and not dreaded.
HOW TO MAKE HAND-WASHING FUN
1) Sing a song that lasts 20 seconds. According to the Center for Disease Control, this is the amount of time that is recommended to properly wash your hands. Try “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or “Happy Birthday.” To create your own handwashing song, click here.
2) Keep track of their progress with a hand washing chart and reward them with a treat. If you have multiple kids, make it a friendly competition!
3) Decorate a stool for your kids to use the bathroom sink. Encourage them to help with the decorations (i.e, pick out colors, stickers and designs).
4) Post a reminder chart in the bathroom. Click here to download a free hand washing poster from the CDC!
6) Use fun soaps. Try some of these fun options!
- Sohp Shop Soaps: These are really run. It’s a pretty ball of soap with a surprise toy hidden inside. The idea is that the more your child washes their hands and uses the soap, the closer they get to revealing a brand-new toy.
- Soap Bar With Fossil Toy Inside: This is similar to the Sohp Shop Soaps where the more your toddler washes his or her hands with the soap, the closer they get to the fossil.
- “Celebrity” Bottles: Go to your local grocery store to see the fun variety of soap dispenser bottles. Bonus points for bottles that have their favorite TV or movie character, superhero, villain, etc. Click here to see an example!
- Soap Pump Musical Timer: This fun and flashy Soap Pump Musical Timer helps to promote healthy handwashing habits through repetition and engagement. Integrated lights and music are timed to 20 seconds, the amount of time for effective handwashing as recommended by doctors.