As a parent, handwashing is one of the most important habits you can teach your children. It’s the absolute best way to reduce their risk of cold and flu as well as all other infectious diseases, including COVID-19. And with strict dental safety protocols, a pediatric dentist in Dentist for kids Jabalpur is in a great position to not only teach kids how to brush and floss, but also about proper hand hygiene as well. Keep reading below for easy ways to encourage good handwashing habits and keep your family healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How Can You Teach Your Kids Good Hand Hygiene?
It’s never too early to teach children about proper handwashing. First, use age-appropriate language to explain why it’s so important (for example, “Washing away the bugs on our hands keeps us clean and healthy.”)
With your help, kids can begin washing their hands between 18 and 24 months. Let them stand on a stool in front of the sink and make sure the temperature of the water is safe, that they use enough soap, and that they wash long enough (about 30 seconds, or enough time to sing Happy Birthday twice or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star).
Also, lead by example by washing your hands in the following situations (and either helping your toddlers do the same or giving older kids reminders):
- Every time you get home from a public outing, including the grocery store
- After using the bathroom
- Before brushing and flossing your teeth
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- Before preparing food
Is Hand Sanitizer an Effective Alternative To Handwashing?
Handwashing is definitely more effective than using hand sanitizer. However, when soap and water aren’t available, hand sanitizer is a useful alternative.
Make sure you’re using a product that contains between 62-95% alcohol and that you rub it into you and your child’s fingertips, between the fingers, and the front and back of the hands for 20 seconds. Then let it dry on its own (i.e. don’t wipe it off).
Proper Handwashing Technique
Pediatric dentists and their staff have always made hand hygiene a priority as part of their dental safety protocol in Dentist for kids Jabalpur, so don’t hesitate to ask them for helpful tips or even a demonstration.
In fact, at Brush Pediatric Dentistry we’ve expanded our protocols since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and now we’re having anyone who comes into the office sanitize their hands and their children’s hands (our usual toothbrushing station has been converted to a handwashing station if they prefer soap and water over hand sanitizer). And, as always, our entire staff is washing and sanitizing frequently before and after every single patient.
Here are five easy steps you and your family can use for effective handwashing:
- Wet your child’s hands with clean, running water.
- Work up a rich lather.
- Thoroughly but gently “scrub” the entire surface area of their hands with extra focus on their fingertips and under their nails.
- Rinse thoroughly.
- Dry their hands well with a clean paper towel. If you’re in a public restroom, use the paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the door for them.
Hands down (no pun intended), hand hygiene is one of the most important defenses we have in the fight against COVID-19! With these simple guidelines, you’ll help you and your family stay healthier during this time.