Don't Give Germs a Hand
The key to avoiding illness may rest in little hands. Researchers at the nonprofit Cochrane Collaboration found that the best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses is to ensure that young children wash their hands frequently and properly. These tips can help you teach him good technique and habits.
Wash his hands before eating, after using the bathroom, and after sneezing or coughing.
Wash thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds—the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
Dry his hands if possible with a clean towel, which helps to wipe off germs.
Carry hand sanitizer to use when soap and water are not available. Apply a dollop to one palm and then rub over the front and back of his hands and fingers.
Visit scrubclub.org, a fun, interactive website on the importance of hand washing.
Susan Hayes is a freelance writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY. She is the co-author of 7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child.