Child Care & First Aid : Child Care: Hand Washing

You have a school aged child, maybe one that’s
not so interested in washing their hands. My name is Beverly Bitterman ARNP health and
wellness consultant. So you know that hand washing is an important way to reduce exposure
to germs and bugs that will make them sick. And that if they wash their hands regularly
they will have fewer colds and other things than if they didn’t. So you really want your
child to wash their hands. So one of the things that you want to do is to make sure they know
how to wash their hands really well. And that involves you being a good role model. So you
need to wash your hands well too. So what you want to do is you want to get your hands
wet and then you want to pump out the soap, and you want to lather it up. Now kids like
to do fun things so they might like to sing, so one thing you can do is you can have them
sing the ABC song while they’re washing their hands. Or you can have them sing happy birthday
while they’re washing their hands or recite the pledge of allegiance, something like that.
You’d really love for them to wash their hands for at least a minute but if you’re a mother
like I am I know that I would be happy with even half a minute as opposed to the ten second
rush through that sometimes happens. The other thing that you can do is you can ask your
child to make white gloves. And so what that means is they’re going to get enough soap
on their hands that hands are white. That kind of visual image is helpful with children.
Another strategy of sort of behavior modification is to praise them when they do is well and
sometime just to ignore it when they don’t do it well. Kids hate to be nagged just like
we do and making it fun, making it a rewarding experience and perhaps even involving your
child in thinking up when, what times a day would they like to wash their hands to make
sure that that they get those hand washings in every now and then. My name is Beverly
Bitterman ARNP, health and wellness consultant. And I wish you good luck with getting your
child to become a regular avid hand washer.

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