Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Clean Hands, Healthy Hands


By: Jennifer Repepi, MD


There is one thing that we can all do to keep germs at bay all year long. Wash our hands! Seems so simple doesn't it? And it is. And it's fun, too. How many times do the children in your life want to play in the sink, a bucket, a cup? So add some soap and, voila! Clean hands!


OK, it's not rocket science but it is biology. Soap is important for getting the bacteria off of your hands. It really doesn't kill them but it gets them going down the drain. The soap gets the oils off of our hands which the bacteria cling to. Then rinsing our hands gets them to flush down the drain.

There really is not any benefit to "antibacterial" soaps in most households or public areas. The two things that are important are using the soap and rubbing the soap on our hands. About 15 seconds is what will work so many children can be taught to sing a song during that soapy scrub time. Even though it is longer than 15 seconds, Choosy Kids has a great handwashing song to educate children on rubbing and scrubbing! Use the chorus of the song for the 15 seconds of soapy washing.


Soap plus water is the best way to get germs off (dirt, too!) but when none is available, using hand sanitizing wipes,  gels or foams can help to keep germs at bay. Many public areas have those readily accessible near doorways.

Just a word here about over washing or sanitizing. We have millions of beneficial bacteria that live inside and outside our bodies. Being sensible with hygiene helps to keep harmful bacteria away but too much may not be good for us either. Very dry and cracked skin may get infected more easily so don't forget to moisturize your hands and your children's hands once or a few times each day.


Reminding children to wash their hands after using the toilet, before eating, after playing with pets or outside, and being a good example by demonstrating good hand hygiene will help our families to stay healthy.

My Hands Need Washed is Choosy Kids’ song of the month. For lyrics and activities click here!

16 comments :

  1. I am a stickler about my kids washing their hands. So much so that I am afraid my oldest is turning into a germophobe.

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  2. I am obsessive about my kids washing their hands, with real soap and water.. since so many people just use hand sanitizer these days!

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  3. My parents always reminded us to wash our hands when were kids, but I feel like I'm more conscious of it as an adult. I think it is important to get your kids in the habit as early as possible.

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  4. We don't like using hand sanitizers. We prefer good old fashioned soap and water and signing (off key) while we wash our hands :)

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  5. Singing a short song is a great idea. We used to do the alphabet, but I've fallen out of habit with encouraging that. It would be good to start back up again, especially during sicky seasons.

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  6. I always make sure that my kids know this. It's sort of a first line of defense kind of thing. If you wash your hands every time, it's definitely going to keep the germs away, regardless of where you are.

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  7. I have taught my kids the importance of handwashing early on in life. I know I may have been such a pest for them, to keep on reminding them to wash their hands. Well, it did pay off. Now they are all grown up and it is a habit they are now teaching their own kids.

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  8. Yes, the old song trick really works. At times, if that can't be a solution I would always rely on alco-gels.

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  9. Clean hands are so important. It keeps the germs away. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  10. We have been having trouble with my daughter and hand washing. She is always in such a hurry that she rushes out of the bathroom.

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  11. I always make sure my girls are washing their hands. They're learned in school that they need to wash them often, especially after going to the bathroom.

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  12. Hand cleaning should be really taught well to kids. This habit/action alone can save them from diseases and illnesses.

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  13. I love this campaign. So basic yet so necessary! I have smaller nieces and nephews and I try to help reinforce this habit as much as I can!

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  14. I am super consicous about what my kids do when it comes to prevention. They need to learn from a young age!

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  15. With how dirty kids can be these days and how dirty places can be that they touch always. Keeping your hands clean is a really important thing to teach them.

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  16. We should really be cautious with taking care of kids today. Singing happy birthday while washing hands can be so much fun and healthy.

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