Handwashing for Parents and Kids

  • Handwashing is the most important way to reduce the spread of infection.


    Why is handwashing so important?

    Washing your hands and your kids’ hands is the best thing that you can do to stop the spread of germs. The moment that you finish washing your hands, you start to collect germs again by opening doors, wiping faces, playing with children’s toys and changing diapers. You cannot avoid collecting germs, but you can reduce the chance of infecting others by knowing when to wash your hands.


    When should parents wash their hands?

    Parents should wash their hands before and after activities that have a high risk of spreading germs.


    Wash your hands before:

    • cooking or eating (breastfeeding moms need to wash their hands too);
    • feeding a baby or child; and
    • giving medication to a child.


    Wash your hands after:

    • changing a diaper;
    • helping a child to use a toilet;
    • using a toilet yourself;
    • taking care of a sick child;
    • handling pets or animals;
    • cleaning pet cages or litter boxes; and
    • wiping noses (when possible).


    When should children wash their hands?

    Children should wash their hands before:
    • eating or handling food; and
    • water play.

    Children should wash their hands after:

    • having a diaper change;
    • using the toilet;
    • playing outdoors or in sand; and
    • playing with pets or animals.


    What is a good handwashing routine?

    • Wet your hands under running water.
    • Scrub your hands with soap for a count of five.
    • Rinse your hands under running water for a count of five.
    • Dry your hands with a clean towel.
    • Use hand lotion after washing your hands to prevent your skin from getting sore.


    How should parents wash their baby's hands?

    • Wash your baby’s hands with soap and a warm, wet, fresh towel (either paper or cloth).
    • Rinse the baby’s hands with another fresh, warm, wet towel.

    Dry the hands well.