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The dangers of unwashed hands

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 20-02-2007

You never know where your children have been and what they have
been up to till you see their hands. Toddlers tend to collect germs on their hands from a variety of
sources – contaminated surfaces, foods, even animals and animal waste. If they don’t wash their
hands frequently enough, there is a strong chance they may get infected themselves and spread these
germs to others.

Here are some of the infectious diseases commonly spread through
hand-to-hand contact:

  • The common cold
  • Flu
  • Numerous
    gastrointestinal disorders, including infectious diarrhea

Teaching toddlers good
hand-washing skills is a vital part of their grooming. Moreover, it teaches them to take care of
their bodies.

Follow these steps to help maintain good hygiene in your
family:

  • STEP 1: Be a role model. Wash your hands
    and your toddlers’ hands at the same time. Make sure they see you washing your hands after going to
    the bathroom or when you come in from outside. This may improve your health as well.
  • STEP 2: Talk about it. Toddlers often don’t
    follow what’s good and what’s bad. So say things like, “Look at all this dirt on my hands. I should
    wash that off.”
  • STEP 3: Make observations. Show
    your children how other people wash their hands. For example, doctors wash their hands before
    touching your child during a checkup. Point this out the next time your toddler gets a checkup.
  • STEP 4: Turn hand-washing into a routine. Wash
    your hands before every meal and do it everyday. The act of washing up is bound to become second
    nature to your children.
  • STEP 5: Make it easy for
    your children to reach the sink. Place a stool near a low sink for your toddlers.
  • STEP 6: Let them play. Play nurtures learning. Allow your children
    to pretend-wash their toys and figurines at the sink.

It is also helpful to buy
special cool soaps made for kids to encourage hand washing. Teach your children about the difference
between hot and cold water and how to operate the faucets when required.