Back to School Hand Washing Tips for Healthy Kids
Whether you’re grocery shopping, reading a magazine, or at the doctor’s office, you’ve probably been reminded of some rules for taking care of your overall health. Maybe the start of a new school year has reminded you of the importance of getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, eating well-balanced meals, exercising, and of course washing your hands.
Of all of these rules, hand washing is one of the easier healthy habits to abide by. In a school setting, a culture of proper hand hygiene can make a big impact on student absenteeism and health. This healthy habit only requires running water, soap, towels or hand dryers, and time. And student know-how!
Why is Hand Hygiene Important?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand-washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection and acts like a “do-it-yourself vaccine.” Proper hand washing could prevent 22 million days, or 60 thousand years, of student absences related to the common cold each year.
With skill-based health education gaining in popularity, there is a growing emphasis on providing instruction to students on not only the facts surrounding a topic, but also teaching the skills they need to act appropriately on those facts. Hand washing is no exception; students not only should know why it’s important, but also how to do it effectively!
Pro Hand Washing Steps
The CDC recommends 15-20 seconds of vigorous hand washing with soap and water to effectively kill germs. Unfortunately, only about 5% of people wash their hands for 15-seconds or more and a significant number (especially kids) don’t use soap.
Here are some tips for teaching early elementary school kids about hand washing:
Does your school face obstacles related to hand washing? Supplies, stigma, time restraints? If so, we want to hear from you!
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