Proper hand washing is essential in preventing the spread of germs and illnesses. Most people understand that washing hands is important however the proper technique is not always known or sometimes people think they can wait until they actually get dirty (visually dirty). Teaching children how to properly wash their hands is important to their health and yours, as the Child Care Provider. At the bottom of the page is a link to the MN Dept. of Health web site and a hand washing poster may be printed from their site at no cost. Place the poster in bathrooms, kitchens, or other areas, to serve as a reminder to wash hands.
How to wash your hands
- Wet your hands with clean, warm water
- Apply soap
- Lather and scrub hands vigorously, for 20 seconds
- Rinse hands off while still scrubbing hands
- Dry hands off with paper towel
- Use towel or paper towel to turn water off
There are areas of the hands which are commonly missed when washing them. Wash all areas of the hands by interlocking fingers (fingertips), rubbing between the fingers, following the sections between the pointer finger and thumb and washing slightly up the wrist.
When should you wash your hands?
- At the start of the day
- After breaks
- Before and after food/beverage prep, this includes eating or handling children’s food
- Before and after giving medication
- Before and after diapering
- After using the toilet
- After bodily fluid contact (think sneeze, blood, cough, etc.)
- After playing outside
- After application of ointments or creams (protect the eyes and other open areas)
Hand Washing Resources and links