Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Help Wanted: Hand Washing for Toddlers!

By: Christine Cox, The Choosy Mommy

I can finally say that Capri is fully potty trained! It took us awhile, but we rarely have any accidents anymore. I am beyond happy that she has mastered these skills, but as soon as she is finished in the bathroom, she just sprints away, back to whatever she was doing prior. I get it…going potty interrupts her playtime, but we really need to work on just one thing before she gets back to playing – hand washing!

I stand there and wash my hands after I take care of her and her potty, so I am sure she knows what I am doing. But for me to convince her to take one more minute out of her playtime to do this is a nightmare. In her mind, she isn’t dirty because she always washes her hands when she is ooey, gooey or sticky. She just doesn’t recognize the importance of washing her hands after using the potty because germs can’t be seen.
Hand washing is by far the best way to prevent germs from spreading. I have noticed so many friends of mine posting on their Facebook about how their children are sick and most of these children are around others either at a childcare, preschool or regular school. Not to mention it is starting to be cold and flu season again so hand washing becomes ten times as important. Germs spread so fast in close-knit environments because we all know children improperly cough or sneeze (they don’t cover their mouth) or they touch an already contaminated object and put their finger in their nose, mouth or rub their eyes. At least when children are around each other, they can “see” that someone is sick and can gain a better understanding of germs. However, toddlers don’t even understand what a germ is and a lot of children, no matter the age, don’t understand the importance of stopping a germ in its tracks until they are already sick and it is too late!

Hand washing is a habit that starts at home. And it is going to start in my home NOW! I don’t want to scare my little girl with the “germ talk” but I most certainly am going to mention to her “don’t touch – that is germy” when she is interested in touching yucky things and I will move forward from there with hand washing.

My 3 year old loves Choosy so I am going to show her Choosy’s steps to hand washing and leave it in the bathroom. Maybe if she sees Choosy doing this, she will imitate it and do it too. I think I will also hang this poster up so that she can see Choosy washing his hands.
Additionally, Choosy Kids has a wonderful new song about washing your hands. Check out this video featuring Choosy Trainer, Courtney, at the recent 2015 conference for National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), demonstrating “My Hands Need Washed.” Want to download your own copy of this music? Click here to buy it. You better believe I will be playing it constantly in my house and sing it while we are washing.
By the way, did you know that December 6-12 is National Handwashing Awareness Week? Check out these additional resources from Henry The Hand.

How did you teach your children about germs and washing their hands? I would love to hear your tips!

About the Author: Christine Cox is the blog master and The Choosy Mommy for Choosy Kids. She has always had a passion for writing and is honored to contribute her work to this blog. Most of her writing inspiration comes from her daughter, Capri, who is fun-loving and full of energy, and newborn son Cam. Click here to learn more about Christine.

32 comments :

  1. Congrats on mastering potty training! Hand washing is the next big step...good luck! I have a 10 1/2 year old boy that still needs to master this. LOL!

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  2. Ongreats on the potty training. Now can you come here to tell my 8 year old to ALWAYS use soap when they go to the bathroom. I am constantly reminding him.

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  3. That is awesome about the potty training. I remember the days when both of my boys were potty trained and man, I was so happy.

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  4. Hand washing is so important! I have been practicing this with my son since he was very very little. He just loves splashing the water, but hopefully, it become second nature as he gets older.

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  5. You joking me, my 13 yr old son still needs to be reminded to wash his hands...so yo are good my dear. Congrats on the potty training milestone. It is well :)

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  6. I think we should get an award when our kids are finally potty trained!!

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  7. Great idea! Yeah, this is a hard lesson to teach. My girl is pretty good with it when I remind her, though.

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  8. It's definitely one of the best ways to avoid germs and getting sick in general. I make sure I teach my kids to wash their hands regularly.

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  9. It's definitely important to establish good hand-washing habits early on. I love that poster. That could be an awesome reminder for the kids.

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  10. I used all kinds of aides to teach my kids. We had a timer in the bathroom to make sure they washed hand a full minute.

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  11. My son always says, 'You have to wet your hands first mommy otherwise the soap won't stick!' repeating back what I've told him many times ;)

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  12. I feel like there are grownups who need a lesson on hand washing! haha

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  13. Congratulations on the potty training success! My daughter is in the middle on potty training my one year old grandson and he's doing pretty good. He just getting the hang of it but he's already done it twice. I am a proud grandma :).

    Noah is pretty good with washing his hands...which he does often because his hands are always sticky, lol.

    I'm glad she's showing him and his brother about hygiene now that they're little. It'll make it so much easier when they get older. Now only if Noah would brush his teeth. The boy cries bloody murder every time she brushes his teeth, but that's a whole other story. :)

    Great post Christine and love the pic of you and Capri.

    Talk soon!
    Cori

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  14. Handwashing is the best way to prevent the spread of germs. I'm glad that you made a post about this.

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  15. This is great. My oldest son is the same way about hand washing...or rather the not wanting to do it part. Maybe Choosy can convince him too.

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  16. I try to teach my little cousins the fundamentals of washing their hands properly, even though some of them think that they can 'half' wash their hands and be just fine.

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  17. How great is choosy... so important to make those tasks like hand washing fun!!

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  18. Ewww, haha! Well, I was on the baby fever train again, but this just definitely dulled the shine a bit. I guess you don't think about poop and germs and stuff when you're thinking about cute little babies that grow up to be mini-yous, but that's part of it too! I guess I could be ok with germs.

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  19. Great post! My friend and I were just talking about this and how she gets so sick all the time because of the kiddos germs. Washing hands is key!

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  20. Congrats on the potty training. It's very important to teach the small kids to wash their hands. The twins love to play with water and they love to wash their hands a lot.

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  21. Potty training is such a big achievement for the child and the parent. Thanks for sharing.

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  22. I was so obsessive about washing my hands when I was a kid that I would wash them raw. My parents thought I was allergic to dial soap.

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  23. I was so obsessive about washing my hands when I was a kid that I would wash them raw. My parents thought I was allergic to dial soap.

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  24. I always washed my kids hands when they were infants and then when potty training we had a stepping stool in the bathroom. The children always watched me and the bathroom door was locked from the inside, with me in there until they were finished their job and hands were washed.

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  25. congrats on the potty training. It is really important to teach our child to wash their hands to remove dirt and germs. Thank you for sharing.

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  26. We wash hands after every trip and have a small selection of songs to sing to make sure that they are washing for long enough.

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  27. I have to constantly remind my 3yr old that she needs to wash her hands when she's done with the bathroom. We are getting there though.

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  28. My kids aren't in potty training anymore but I'm happy with this helpful post.

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  29. I have the same issue with my son. He thinks that if there's not dirt, glue, or paint on his hands that they're clean. Now, I have to introduce him to Choosy.

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  30. It is best to teach kids proper hygiene early on in life. I will recommend Choosy to my friends who have young children. As the old cliche goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

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  31. Teaching kids about washing their hands early on will ensure they will do it as they get older. My kids now head straight to the bathroom to wash their hands as soon as they come in from outdoors, and before dinner - it's embedded in their brain!

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  32. A song is a great method to help teach! I will keep this in mind for my future children!

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