When you have children in your home, keeping them healthy means that you need to be diligent about reducing the spread of germs. To help reduce this risk, my staff and I wash our hands and the children's hands at the following times:

  • at the beginning of each day
  • before and after the administration of medication
  • after toileting or assisting children with toileting
  • after changing a diaper
  • before and after food handling or eating
  • after contact with any bodily secretion (nose wipe) or fluid
  • after coming in from outdoors; and
  • any time they are dirty

If you're thinking that I wash my hands a lot, you're right!! Having hand lotion or moisturizer readily available to rub into your hands after hand washing is a good idea. Hand lotion will help keep your skin from becoming dry and chapped.

Frequent hand washing isn't the only important part of effective germ control. How you wash your hands is vitally important as well. Here is my step-by-step routine (provided by NYS OCFS) we use for hand washing.

  • 1. Moisten hands with water and apply liquid soap.
  • 2. Rub hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds - remember to include between fingers, under and around fingernails, backs of hands, and to scrub any jewelry.
  • 3. Rinse hands well under running water with fingers down so water flows from wrist to fingertips.
  • 4. Leave the water running.
  • 5. Dry hands with a disposable paper towel.
  • 6. Use a towel to turn off the faucet
  • 7. If inside the bathroom with a closed door, use the towel to open the door.
  • 8. Discard the towel in a receptacle with a lid.
  • 9. Apply hand lotion, if needed.

With so much hand washing you may be thinking that you could be saving time and your skin if you use commercial hand sanitizer or wipes. These are not a substitute for hand washing using running water and soap. Also, it's important to know that many hand sanitizers have high concentrations of alcohol and may be dangerous to children if ingested.

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