Fall is quickly approaching, and with it comes cold and flu season. Even if you homeschool your children, they can be exposed to germs at the playground, library, and local rec center. Anyone who comes into your home can also bring germs with them. Learning the importance of handwashing is one of the best things your child can do to stay healthy in the upcoming months. Here’s how you can teach them this skill.
Stress Its Importance
The first step in getting your child to wash their hands regularly is to help them understand the importance of proper hygiene. Hand washing is one of the easiest ways to reduce the spread of germs in the home. Explain to your child how germs get onto their hands when they touch things and why it’s important to wash the germs away often. Teach them to wash their hands in warm water with soap for at least 20 seconds.
Explain When They Need to Wash
Just as important as knowing how to wash your hands is knowing when to do it. Teach your child that they need to wash their hands before they eat and after if their hands are sticky. They should also wash after using the restroom, playing with friends, touching a pet, blowing their nose, or coughing. If your child is old enough, explain to them how bodily fluids like saliva and mucus can pass along illnesses.
Get Them Excited
No matter how much you teach your child about washing their hands, they won’t do it regularly unless they’re eager about it. Teach your child about germs by using crafts or games to explain how far germs can spread from one source. You can also show them how to sing “Happy Birthday” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” while they wash their hands so they know how long to keep scrubbing.