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Hi, I'm Hollis. Here I am with my little brother, Kal.
I'm a clean hands helper. That means I know all about how to be a good handwasher and why it's important. And I can help teach other people how to do a good job keeping their hands clean too.
I'm teaching Kal about it first.
I tell Kal that being a good handwasher helps fight germs.
"Germs are everywhere," I say. "You can't see them just by looking. And germs can make people sick. But when you do a good job washing your hands, you get rid of the germs that are hiding there!" Then I tell Kal about when I always make sure to wash my hands.
I wash my hands anytime they look dirty. And before I eat. I also wash them after I go to the bathroom or blow my nose. Or if I cough or sneeze. If somebody close to me coughs or sneezes, I make sure to wash my hands then too.
Sometimes, you might think your hands are clean because they don't look dirty. But that's not always true.
Look at Kal. He just came in from playing outside. He must have had a lot of fun, because that guy's a mess!
Kal wiped his hands on the kitchen towel, so he thinks they're clean now.
But Kal didn't use soap and water to wash up!
So even though his hands don't look too dirty, there are still some creepy little germs hanging on.
So I show Kal how to bust those germs by being a good handwasher. Here's what you do.
Get your hands wet with clean water. Then put soap on them and scrub. Scrub the fronts and the backs, and under your fingernails. Keep on scrubbing for 20 seconds. That's about as long as it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice.
To keep Kal scrubbing long enough, we sing together. But I like to change the words of the "Happy Birthday" song to be about germ-fighting.
Scrub the fronts of your hands.
Scrub the backs of your hands.
Scrub all your little fingers.
And wash the germs down the drain.
While we sing, we have a contest to see who can make the most bubbles.
When you're done, rinse your hands. Then dry them with a clean towel.
If you can use a towel to turn off the faucet, that's a good idea. That way, any germs on the faucet can't jump back onto your clean hands.
Being a good handwasher isn't too hard. And now that you know how to do it, you can help teach other people too!
Now that you know how to be a clean hands helper like Hollis, who will you help first? What do you remember about when you should wash your hands? Is there a song you want to sing to make sure you scrub long enough?
Current as of: April 28, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Kacey L. Gormley MSW - Child Life Specialist
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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