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Children come into contact with germs such as bacteria and viruses every day. These germs can be spread from a child’s hands to his eyes, nose, or mouth and make the child sick.

In addition to the common cold, more serious illnesses such as meningitis, influenza, hepatitis A, and bronchitis can be passed from one person to another by dirty hands. The best line of defense against these germs is frequent and thorough hand washing.

When to wash your hands

» Before and after eating
» After using the bathroom
» After playing on the playground
» After touching or petting animals
» After handling garbage or trash
» After being around someone who is sick
» After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
How to wash your hands

» Wet your hands with warm water

» Apply soap and scrub hands vigorously for 15-20 seconds or as long as it takes to sing the ABC song

Pay special attention to fingernails and between the fingers

Rinse well and dry with a paper towel or a clean hand towel

Use colorful soaps or fun-shaped soaps to entice your child to wash his hands more often.

If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer to clean hands after participating in the above activities.