My hands ALWAYS have to be clean. I cannot stand it if I have dirty hands. It is to the extreme folks! I am a bit of a germaphobe, but that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the feeling of “not clean” hands. You know that feeling? Perhaps you don’t. Perhaps you weren’t blessed with first child syndrome like I am.
Do you know what I’m talking about: first child syndrome? My Mom blames my persistent need to always have clean hands on being a first child. You see, as her first child, she constantly wiped my hands and kept me clean. Once my sister came along, she didn’t have as much time to keep on top of wiping my sister’s hands clean, so that is her theory as to why dirty hands (or un-clean hands) don’t bother her like they bother me.
Just like many parents, there are some parenting decisions that my parents made that I do not wish to follow. As parents, we often make that conscious decision to not “make the same mistakes” as our parents did. So, I set out to ensure that my first born did NOT suffer from first child syndrome and do you know what? I succeeded! My daughter could care less if her hands get dirty, but my son on the other hand….well, I don’t know if it’s nature or something that I did, but he doesn’t like to have messy hands. So, despite my best efforts, I still have one child who really doesn’t like the feeling of having dirty hands.
Now, that doesn’t mean that my son enjoys washing his hands properly. I still struggle with this in our house. We have a rule in our house that whenever you are coming inside from being at school, out in public or simply playing outside that you wash your hands. This is my habit and a habit that I felt was important to pass on to my children. Do you do this?
Often, however, the children are in a rush to get into an activity (or eat) and so they rush through washing their hands and they do what I call a quick rinse. They pump the soap and rinse it off, forgetting to properly lather and rub their hands together to knock off the dirt and germs.
Here are some tips for How to Teach Children How to Wash Their Hands Properly:
- Teach them the proper technique. Do not assume that your child knows the proper way to wash their hands, see the tips below for a good hand washing technique.
- Be present. If they know that you are watching them, they are more likely to wash their hands properly.
- Provide easy to use soap. If you expect your children to wash their hands with soap, be sure to have a soap available that is child friendly. A foaming hand soap like Live Clean Tropical and Mixed Berry Foaming Hand Soaps are a fun and easy to use option for children.
- Give them a cue. Have them sing a song like the ABC song while they wash to give them a cue as to the amount of time that they should spend lathering, rubbing and rinsing their hands.
- Have them re-wash. If you weren’t present and you heard that there is no possible way that their hands were cleaned properly, ask them to go back and re-wash their hands properly. Continue to have them re-wash until they have washed them an appropriate amount of time.
- Use a timer. Some children need something visual to help them. Consider using a kitchen timer in the washroom that they set before they start the water. The CDC recommends that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Be a good role model. If you children see you washing your hands the proper way, this will help them understand the importance of good hand washing.
A Good Handwashing Technique:
- Get hands wet.
- Lather your hands with soap.
- Rub your hands, fingers and fingernails. Ensure to rub the fronts, backs and in between the fingers. Do this for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands well.
- Dry your hands with a clean towel,
- paraben free
- SLS/sulfate free
- phthalate free
- petroleum free
- dye free
- PH balanced