Your Best Defense Against Illness:
Hand Washing: Your First Line of Defense Against Germs
With the flu season now upon us, parents are looking at all of their options to protect their kids from getting sick. Beating it takes a little common sense and proper hand-washing habits.
Instead of putting your child's health at risk
try following these practical guidelines:
Have your child wash their hands after touching anything the public has touched. Some of these common germ areas include telephones, doorknobs and handrails.
Try to make sure your child avoids rubbing their eyes or nose with dirty hands. This is one of the many routes that viruses take to find their way into our bodies.
If your child comes in contact with someone that is ill, be sure they keep a good distance from him or her, preferably 5 feet.
Instill the habit of washing your hands before you eat into your child. This is an especially effective tactic when your child is at school. Depending on the janitor to have gotten all of the germs off the lunchroom table is not a good idea, as most are microscopic and can't be seen by the human eye.
Teaching Your Kids Good Handwashing Habits
The best way to get your child to adopt good handwashing habits is through example. This could be accomplished by washing your hands with your children. Another idea is leaving handwashing reminders around the house making sure to place them at eye level.
Children should be encouraged to lather up the suds before meals, playing outdoors, cuddling with household pets, after using the bathroom and after blowing their nose or sneezing.
The best hand-washing technique involves three steps:
Use warm water
Work up a good lather all the way up to the wrists for at least 10 or 15 seconds
Don't forget to get all surfaces including the backs of the hands, wrists, between the fingers and an area often overlooked, the fingernails
By absorbing these hand-washing tips and information parents can help reduce the risk of common infections
in their children such as colds and the flu to more serious infections such as meningitis.