Handwashing Tips for Kids


It’s no secret: Kids can be gross! There’s no telling where those little hands have been, from toads to noses and everything in between. So when you pile 60 of those little hands together in a small classroom, it’s no wonder that back-to-school time tends to bring new bouts of illness.

The average kid brings home between six and 10 colds each year. That’s why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has developed what it calls a “DIY vaccine” for schoolchildren: Handwashing.

Beyond pesky colds, handwashing is key for preventing more serious illness, such as influenza, strep and -- every mother’s nightmare – stomach bugs. Doing it the right way means following these five steps: Lather, Soap, Scrub, Rinse, Dry.

A few tips: Teach kids to scrubs the backs of hands, between their fingers and under their fingernails. They should be able to sing “Happy Birthday” twice before they are done scrubbing.

And yes, in a pinch, sanitizer helps kill germs, too. So send the kids off to school with their own travel—sized bottle of sanitizer and teach them to use it liberally.