Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
How I wonder what you are

What in the world does that have to do with hand washing you ask? Singing that song takes 15 seconds which is how long everyone should wash their hands to help prevent the spread of germs that can cause you and your family to become sick.

Even though the cold weather has started to arrive, and no matter what your Mama has told you about bundling up before you go outside so you will not get sick, it is not the cold weather that makes you sick; it is germs. And germs are everywhere. The fact that it is cold outside has most likely resulted in you spending more time indoors, therefore being exposed to more germs. They live on surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, pens and pencils, keyboards and phones to name a few.

These germs can arrive on those surfaces by others touching their nose or mouth, using the restroom, changing a diaper or holding a sick child and not washing their hands before depositing those germs on anything they touch.

The proper way to wash your hands is very simple. Here are the instructions:

  • Wet your hands and apply soap, liquid or bar is fine as long as the bar of soap has not been sitting in a puddle of water.
  • Rub your hands together for at least 15 seconds (here is where the song comes in handy) paying close attention to all areas of your hands including between your fingers, under your fingernails and all of the skin up to your wrists.
  • Rinse with warm water and dry your hands well. At home make sure you change the towel frequently.
  • If you are using a public restroom, be sure to use a paper towel to turn off the water AND to open the door on your way out.

Children should be taught to wash their hands before they eat, after playing at school or at a friend’s house, after using the bathroom and after being around someone who is sick.

Waterless hand sanitizers are a good substitute when soap and water are not available and can be used on older children and adults. Younger kids can also use these with adult supervision. Make sure the sanitizer has dried completely before your child touches anything or puts their hands in their mouth to avoid the chance of ingestion of alcohol. Be sure to keep these out of the reach of children as you would with any chemical.

This simple, fast habit can help to keep you and your family healthy.


Expert Advice