Why Hand Washing For Kids Is Important | Kidadl


Why Hand Washing For Kids Is Important

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Parents should encourage kids to start washing their own hands from the age of two years though they might need some help in the initial stage.

Ideally, parents should start washing their baby's hands once they start crawling as they tend to come across dirt, germs, and contaminated surfaces. Hand washing is an easy way to remove dirt and keep children safe from illnesses.

Cleaning hands with a wet paper towel may remove dirt on the surface but does not kill the germs fully. The best way to maintain hand hygiene is to practice proper hand washing. Place your hands under running water, rub hands with soap, and then rinse soap with water. After washing your hands with water and soap, they should be dried with a clean towel.

How To Wash Your Hands

Hand washing for kids is very important before and after eating, after using the bathroom, playing with family pets, before and after touching pet food, and before touching any of their body parts. Parents should encourage good hand washing habits in kids to improve hand hygiene.

There are a few tips for proper handwashing. The first step is to wet the hands with running water (preferably warm water), rub hands with soap, especially between the fingers, back of the hands, and under the nails as they trap dirt. The next step is to rinse soap from your hands under running water and dry the hands with a clean towel.

Kids should learn the handwashing habit and make sure to wash hands whenever eating, touching their mouth, eyes, or nose, touching pet food, and going near people who are sick or touching their things. Teach them handwashing as early as possible as some kids who are two years old are able to follow good handwashing practice.

To help your children remember to wash their hands, you should set examples like washing hands while the kids are watching or washing your hands alongside your kids. To make it a fun activity for kids, make their hands wet under running water first, apply soap and water, and ask them to rub their soapy hands till they produce lather for about the time it takes to sing the happy birthday song twice.


You often tend to unintentionally touch your mouth, eyes, and nose, and so germs might then spread to your body through eating, touching your mouth or nose, touching your eyes, and going near someone sick, touching their things like diapers or clothes.

Hands and nails can trap dirt, which can then spread into the food we or someone else eats, which can make you sick. Hence it is always better to wash your hands to kill all the germs fully and remove dirt, which can stop the spread of germs to everyone around us.

The most important reason to practice good hand hygiene is the prevention of the spread of germs. Proper hand washing can stop the spread of germs, so washing hands frequently saves a lot of money as it protects us from various diseases and the expenses spent on the treatment of these diseases.

It would be prudent to wash your hands every time before and after eating food, touching hair, nose, eyes, and mouth, using the restroom, and after coughing or sneezing. You should not dry your hands or clean them with a wet paper towel. These are the most common contaminated surfaces. While touching the handles of the doors also it is advisable to use a wet paper towel and hand sanitizer immediately after. An alcohol-based sanitizer helps stop the spreading of bacteria and germs.

As you learn how and why to wash your hands with soap and water, it is also necessary to know the right way to dry them to keep hand hygiene intact. It is important to dry them with a clean towel to prevent the spread of germs. If the surroundings and situation do not allow you to wash your hands with soap and water, then a hand sanitizer, especially an alcohol-based sanitizer, can be used temporarily. Apply and rub hands well until the hand sanitizer has dried.

It is not just about preventing the spreading of germs and diseases, but also appearance is important. Dirty hands do not create a good impression, so wash your hands and create a good impression on people who meet you.


A lot of bacteria collects on the hands regularly and it isn't easy to keep hands totally germ-free, but washing hands frequently and properly restricts the spread of germs and also has various other benefits. By following a handwashing routine, you can keep your surroundings clean and hygienic.

Most food-borne diseases emerge if you do not wash your hands properly. Make sure kids wash their hands before and after eating and wash their own hands before and after using the kitchen.

The bacteria you encounter can stay alive for a long time on your hands, mostly in the fingernails and cuticles. These bacteria do not die if you do not wash your hands. Hence, to restrict the spread of germs and bacteria and reduce their survival rate, maintaining good hand hygiene is vital. Many gut-related and respiratory illnesses occur due to poor hand washing. To cure these diseases, heavy antibiotics are prescribed by doctors. Regular use of these medicines can result in resistance to antibiotics which makes curing diseases more difficult.

Teaching kids how to wash their hands properly with soap and water can reduce the spread of many diseases in schools, at home, and other places. Kids often remember to wash their hands when dirty with mud or finger paint, but it is necessary to remind them to wash their hands even when there is no visible dirt.

Regularly washing your hands prevents germs and bacteria from entering your body through your nose, mouth, and eyes as we often touch these areas at least four times per hour. Meticulously wash your hands to reduce the chances of these germs entering your body.

Not maintaining proper hand hygiene can lead to many serious diseases like diarrhea, hepatitis A, flu, common cold, bronchiolitis, and meningitis.

Amazing Facts About Hand Washing For Kids

Hand washing can be made interesting to kids by teaching them the five steps of how to wash hands. These steps are getting the hands wet, applying soap, rubbing hands till the soap lathers, rinsing the soapy hands, and drying the hands with a clean towel.

The concept of hand wash started around in the mid of 1800s by a doctor from Hungary, Ignaz Semmelweis. He realized that hand hygiene could prevent the spread of many germs and diseases. While he was working in Vienna, patients were losing their lives at a frightening rate in the maternity ward of the hospital. This happened because student doctors were treating them and they were doing their rounds soon after the anatomy class, where they came into contact with corpses.

Hand washing was not considered important at that time and the students who attended the women passed on the bacteria from the corpses to them, due to which the death rate increased constantly. Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis then made a rule that the students should wash their hands before treating the patients in the maternity ward and this resulted in a drastic decrease in patient deaths.

Hand washing for kids can be made fun by transforming it into a game or by singing the happy birthday song, or by creating your own song for handwashing if the happy birthday song is boring. A chart showing the five steps of handwashing with interesting pictures can be kept in the kids' rooms and shown to them regularly to remind them of the importance of washing hands.

Different colors and flavors of soap can be used to make handwashing fun and interesting. The kids can choose their favorite color or flavor of soap each day and wash their hands with that.

Research says that more than 80% of infections are transmitted through touch. It is rightly said that to explore and learn new things, we should get down and get our hands dirty, which is very true in the case of kids. Kids love to play and explore in the dirt and it is very healthy and should be encouraged. But at the same time, it is critical to teach them the importance of washing hands and maintaining hand hygiene.

It is very important, especially for kids, because they are vulnerable at a young age, and germs and infections tend to spread easily when kids come into contact with each other closely while playing. It is not mandatory to use only an anti-bacterial or medicated soap. Any regular soap is also as effective as a medicated soap to remove dirt and stop the spread of germs.

Keeping hands dry is also as important as hand washing. Hands that are wet and damp are known to spread more germs and infections than dry hands. Kids should properly dry their hands after washing them. This is especially important in winter as the air is dry and this dry air in the atmosphere makes the skin extremely dry without letting the skin hold any moisture. This leads to cracks and cuts in the skin, ultimately damaging the skin and increasing the risk of infections. A paper towel is advisable and hygienic to dry hands rather than a warm air dryer. Our hands can be germ-free if dried properly. The more you keep your hands clean and dry, the safer you and your kids would be.

Teach kids the importance of getting rid of the germs accumulated on their hands by using glitter. This can be done by covering their hands with glitter and explaining to them how easy it was to cover their hands with glitter germs. Now tell them it's time to wash their hands thoroughly to get rid of those germs and they can see how difficult this is.

Also, let kids know the importance of hand sanitizer and how it works. Hand sanitizer does not always work, especially when hands are visibly dirty. Only soap and water can remove dirt and germs fully. Hand sanitizer is a good option when we cannot get soap and water to wash hands. Along with hand washing, kids should be aware of using hand sanitizer. Tell them to squeeze a small blob onto their palms and rub the hand sanitizer on the front and back and in between the fingers until dry.

Instilling a regular handwashing habit in children is a time-consuming process and needs a lot of patience. Keep reminding them to wash their hands frequently and help them whenever required.

Written By
Sridevi Tolety

<p>With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.</p>

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