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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

National Handwashing Awareness Week

Our children get their hands into many things. Mine have always liked making mud pies as they play pretend. Anything from rocks, pennies, and rabbit foots have been kept in pockets for good luck. Not to mention the many cats, dogs, pet frogs and other animals they have touched before. All of these are common childhood actions but these can also be main way to come in contact with million of germs.
The age old rule we teach our kids about is to wash their hands before eating, after using the bathroom or when they come in from playing. With everything they get distracted and they may forget. So it is a message that needs repeating. Hand washing is by far by the best way to prevent germs from spreading and to keep kids from getting sick
Good hand washing protects against spread many illnesses. The common cold to more serious illnesses such a the flu, meningitis, hepatitis A and more. All of which lead to missed school days and loss of work days not to mention dr. visits and financial cost.
Germs spread in many different ways. 
  • touching dirty hands
  • changing dirty diapers
  • through contaminated water and food
  • through droplets in the air released during a cough or sneeze
  • on contaminated surfaces
  • through contact with a sick person's body fluids
Coming into contact with germs is something that we do easily. Simply the touch of eyes, nose, or mouth. Once someone gets sick from germs it will normally spread through the whole family. The first line of defense is go hand washing.

It is important to wash those germs away and teach the correct routine to kids. You can even wash your hands with the little ones. 

  1. Wash your hands in warm water. Make sure the water isn't too hot for little hands.
  2. Use soap and lather up for about 20 seconds (antibacterial soap isn't necessary — any soap will do). Make sure you get in between the fingers and under the nails where germs like to hang out. And don't forget the wrists!
  3. Rinse and dry well with a clean towel.
To minimize the germs passed around your family, make regular hand washing a rule for everyone, especially:
  • before eating and cooking
  • after using the bathroom
  • after cleaning around the house
  • after touching animals, including family pets
  • before and after visiting or taking care of any sick friends or relatives
  • after blowing one's nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • after being outside (playing, gardening, walking the dog, etc.)
Don't underestimate the power of hand washing! The few seconds you spend at the sink could save you trips to the doctor's office.

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