Happy Hand Washing!

“Hooray for Hands”

Hands are happy and busy things,
They clap, and they feed, and pretend to be wings,
They hold, and they greet, wear gloves and rings,
They throw, and they catch, and tie ties and strings.
They’re on monkeys, on monarchs, and kids and kings,
They help you through winters, and falls and springs,
When it’s summer they help play on the slides and the swings,
Hooray for our hands and their helpful givings.
–    by Kate Miller, (c) 2012

Hands do so much, but they can also be the one of the germiest places on our bodies. That’s why it’s very important to keep them clean, and to teach kids the importance of healthy hand-washing habits.

Where do hands get dirty? Everywhere! Whether it’s playing outside or going to a friend’s house, dirt and illness-causing bacteria can be found in just about every nook and cranny. Nasty things like colds, flu, and infectious diarrhea can be picked up and spread by your hands. Some places to especially be aware of include toilets, trash cans, diapers, public play areas, and places where sick people are, like in a hospital or an ill person’s home.

Nobody wants to live in a bubble, though! So go out and enjoy life, and follow some simple guidelines to help keep you and your little ones safe. Here are some tips for you and your entire family:

–    Keep your hands away from your nose and mouth. Touching your nose and mouth with germy hands can cause you to get sick with whatever is on your hands.
–    Avoid friends and family members who are actively ill.
–    Always wash hands after using the restroom.
–    Wash hands after you sneeze, and try to sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve to avoid getting hands icky in the first place.
–    Make a habit of washing hands before and after eating.
–    Definitely wash up after playing with pets or taking out the trash.

WASHING TIPS
–    Wash with warm water and plenty of soap. It does NOT need to be expensive or antibacterial soap.
–    When washing hands, get under nails and in between fingers.
–    Hand washings should take a minimum of 20 seconds, or long enough to sing a simple song like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or “Twinkle, Twinkle”.
–    After hand washing, turn off the water with a towel or your elbow to avoid touching a possibly-dirty knob or faucet.
–    Always dry your hands with a clean towel.

You’re ready to spread the news, not the germs. Good luck – here are some jokes from KubKids.org that you can share along with the tips above!

1)    What do you call a germ who wants to have a good time?
2)    What do you get if you cross a comedian with germs?
3)    Why did the germ cross the microscope?
4)    Did you hear the story about the germ?

[Answers below]

1A) A fungi (fun guy)!
2A) Sick jokes!
3A) To get to the other slide!
4A) Never mind. I don’t want it spread all over!

Sources:
http://www.kubkids.org/handwashing/handwashing.htm
http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/sick/hand_washing.html#
http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/health/kleenex-keeps-it-clean/?lastPage=true&page=9
Photo: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Faucet_in_a_bathroom_sink.jpg