How to Wash Your Child’s Hands

If you suddenly start washing your hands like a doctor preparing for surgery, you are not alone – I never realized how long 20 seconds could take until this week. Making sure our kids wash or disinfect their hands (and don’t cough over all of creation) is also key to slowing the spread of the coronavirus. What about children’s hands?

Disinfectant for babies and hands

First, you might be wondering if the type of hand sanitizer recommended by the CDC for killing coronavirus – alcohol-based with at least 60% alcohol – is safe for babies. Although children over one year of age should be able to use these hand sanitizers (provided they are supervised and their hands can dry completely before touching food or mouth), most labels will indicate that they are not recommended for use. use. on babies.

There are some non-alcoholic hand sanitizers made for babies, but they won’t be as effective or thorough as alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and hand washing is still the best way to kill germs. This poster from the Child Health and Safety Resource Center in North Carolina provides great tips and visuals on how to wash your child’s hands, depending on their developmental stage.

Washing Tiny Babies’ Hands

For our youngest children (among those who do not know how to support their own heads), the best way to wash their hands is the three-towel method. You’ll need:

  • One damp soapy cloth, rag, or hand wash towel.
  • One damp cloth to wash off the soap
  • And one clean, dry cloth to wipe them off.

Washing hands for babies

For babies who are still young but can now control their head, you can go to the sink. Hold your baby by the sink, being careful not to push your baby into the sink or counter with their belly. Placing your foot on a chair will help you strengthen it.

Then, place their hands under warm water, testing it first to make sure it’s not hot. Lather your hands and then gently dab the soap on their hands for the required 20 seconds – go on and sing Happy Birthday (twice), “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or Alphabet song. Hold every corner of your hands, including your palms, fingertips, and between your fingers. Rinse your hands with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.

Washing the hands of older infants

When babies learn to stand at the sink at baby level or on a stool by the sink, you can stand next to them and help them wash and wash for 20 seconds.

How often should they be washed? Your best bet is to be safe right now and wash them under the same circumstances that you washed your hands under, such as when you got home from public places, before bottle feeding or eating, when they came in contact. body fluids and when they are clearly dirty.

And every time you wash your hands, you should end the session by washing your hands.


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