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Handwashing is one of the best ways to kill germs, keep kids healthy, and slow the spread of COVID-19. Along with wearing face masks and face shields and practicing social distancing, proper handwashing can keep kids and your household healthy. But parents know it’s not always easy to get kids to wash their hands, at least as frequently as they should.
So when should kids wash their hands? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 10 important times people should wash their hands and also lists a five-step process to proper handwashing: wet, lather, scrub, rinse, dry. The most important part of the process is the scrubbing, with 20 seconds being the recommended amount of time for getting rid of germs. The CDC says you can hum “Happy Birthday” twice, but that can get old fast.
Using a timer, kid-friendly soap, and a faucet extender are just a few of the things parents can try to make handwashing a fun habit that kids actually enjoy. Plus, it’s important to remind kids, especially little ones, how germs spread and to be careful not to touch their nose, mouth, and eyes. Positive reinforcement should be used when kids wash their hands after coming in from outside or using the bathroom to get them on track with making it a healthy habit.
Using a sticker or reward chart is another great way to incentivize handwashing, or you could go the song route à la Mariah Carey (and pick something a little more parent- and kid-friendly.) However you choose to encourage handwashing in your home, sticking to it will benefit everyone and help keep your entire family happy and healthy.
Below, check out seven products for kids to make handwashing fun.
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