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Swine flu- proper hand washing is the single most prevention all kids should learn

Posted on May 06, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera

Swine flu has been all over the news and with reported cases getting closer and closer to home, we are all very concerned.

How can we help keep our child safe? There is one thing we can teach our children that will prevent a great deal of diseases throughout their lifetime. And that is the simple habit of washing hands.

I know it sounds pretty simple and maybe you have taught your child to always wash their hands. But are they doing it enough? Are they washing their hands properly to kill most of the bacteria and virus that may have gotten on their hands from the millions (no make that zillions) of things kids love to touch!

Here is a simple rule that will help your child wash their hands properly.

  • Sing the ABC song throughout hand washing. It's about 20 seconds long, just the right amount of time required to wash hands properly. And, kids know this song!!
  • Teach them to constantly rub their hands together during hand washing. It is the friction that helps remove the bacteria. Teach kids to build up lather (they like bubbles and that means they are rubbing the soap with good friction).
  • Scrub all surfaces of the hand. Singing the ABC gives them plenty of time to rub the palms, the back of the hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails.
  • Use soap, it helps kill the bacteria.
  • Wash hands frequently throughout the day, before eating, after eating, after using the bathroom, after touching surfaces in very public places. This is really important now during this swine flu.
I can tell you as a nurse, I did a great deal of handwashing, constantly! We were even tested on it!




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