Handwashing Tips and Tricks

By Theron Pickett

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that one of the best ways to combat the COVID-19 is to make sure you are washing and disinfecting your hands properly. Below are a few tips to remember when it comes to washing your hands and keeping both you and your family healthy. 

Tip #1

It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly. This means you must wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Kids ask a lot of questions about why they have to wash their hands, so explain the reasons often and you can also find videos that teach children how to wash their hands.

Steps to Handwashing from the CDC

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Tip #2

The key is to stop the spread of COVID-19, so If you do not have access to soap and water use and alcohol-based hand-sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. It is important to remember that washing your hands is still the best way to get rid of germs so do not replace your normal hand washing routine with using hand sanitizer.

Tip #3

Make sure you wash your hands before you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread through these orifices. Make an effort to avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, if you have not properly washed your hands. This will be harder for kids to remember so make sure you remind them! The Global Handwashing Partnership created a Wash Coronavirus Away flyer you can post in your kitchen to help your family remember.

Have Fun with It!

Try these fun activities with your kids to make handwashing fun!

5-Step Handwashing Worksheet

After you explain how to wash hands, you can review to help your kids learn with this worksheet. Have your child number each step in the correct order and color the page! You can post the completed sheet in your child’s bathroom to help them remember what to do every time they wash their hands.

Flour Germs

You can teach your kids about germs by using what’s in your pantry! Spread a quarter cup of flour on a plate and ask your students/children to place their hands firmly overtop of the flour while telling them to imagine the flour is actually germs. Next, provide them with a couple of easy-to-wash plastic or wooden toys (LEGOS and other toys can also work) for a few minutes, and then ask them to stop what they are doing and examine how much of the flour has transferred from their hands to the toys they are playing with. This is a great activity to visually demonstrate how easy it is for us to spread germs when we sneeze and cough into our hands and don’t wash them afterwards. (Source: Meraki Lane)

Black Pepper Activity

This is another great way to teach kids about germs and the importance of using soap when washing our hands. Use a large bowl and fill it three-fourths of the way with water and add a couple sprinkles of black pepper. You want a sufficient amount of pepper to be visible along the top of the water, but not so much that you can’t see the water. Next, add a couple drops of dish soap to the water using a dropper, and watch as the germs “run away” from the soap and cling to the side of the bowl. Kids will find this REALLY cool, and the visual it provides will help them remember the importance of using soap to get rid of germs while washing their hands.  (Source: Meraki Lane)

Theron Pickett is currently a junior at Georgetown University, majoring in Government. She hopes to attend law school in the near future.

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