Washing hands correctly with children: works better with tricks and fun

Author: Benita Wintermantel | Category: Children and Family | 04/29/2022

With a few tricks, hand washing with children works even better.

Photo: Shutterstock / Juganow Konstantin

One of the most common questions asked by parents is: Did you wash your hands? We “adults” know: proper hand washing protects against many diseases. And when young children learn to wash their hands properly through play, hand washing will do the job later. We explain how it’s done – including creative ideas for complaining.

Many diseases are transmitted through the hands: colds, gastrointestinal infections, helminth infections, and corona infection. And vice versa: if you wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, you can protect yourself from annoying and sometimes dangerous diseases.

Washing hands is especially important for children

If we touch door handles, a shopping cart in a supermarket, toys in a kindergarten or a door handle in a tram and then touch our face with our hands, germs, viruses and bacteria can enter our body through the mucous membranes. Since young children especially still like to put their hands in their mouths, hand washing is especially important to them. In addition, children get sick faster than adults because their immune systems are not fully developed yet.

Therefore, it is best to make regular and thorough hand washing from an early age a daily routine.

Proper hand washing for children – how it works

What it looks like with children: Turn on the tap to make it squirt, hold your fingers under it for a moment, that’s it – it actually works like this:

  1. Wet your hands thoroughly and on all sides. Then turn off the water tap.
  2. Brush the soap completely on both hands, all fingers, thumbs, palms, and the backs of the hands – and, of course, the areas between the fingers.
  3. Soap, soap and even more soap. At least 20 seconds, 30 seconds is even better.
  4. Rinse your hands thoroughly, including between your fingers.
  5. Finally, dry your hands well. The spaces between the fingers are also important.

In the case of children who are not yet able to wash their hands on their own, parents are asked for support. A rule of thumb for slightly older children is: let them do it themselves. Young children especially are proud to be able to do everyday things on their own. As you know: Hans and Charlotte will never learn what Hans and Lottchen will not.

By the way: Dispenser soap is more hygienic than soap bars where germs can accumulate.

Tip: Adults, especially parents, are role models. So take a moment to think about it: do you always wash your hands thoroughly and with the necessary patience?

Liquid soap in the test

Is one soap better than another for washing your hands dozens of times a day? We wanted to know and test liquid soaps. The 18 liquid soaps in the test are recommended with the highest ratings, but on the other hand three do not result in “poor” or “insufficient”:

When is hand washing important?

Children have no sense of dirt and do not feel disgust when touching things that may not be completely clean. Therefore, parents should set a good example and explain patiently when hand washing is important. Children should learn situations where it is important to wash their hands thoroughly:

  • when are you coming home
  • after going to the toilet
  • after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose
  • before meals
  • before preparing food
  • after petting animals

Motivate children to wash their hands in a fun way

It helps children when they understand why they should do something. Explain to your child what germs and pathogens are at stake – not in lecture and age-appropriate if possible. The funnier the better. Karius and Baktus are in charge of brushing your teeth, and when it comes to washing your hands, you can get help from little “dirty monsters” or “little creatures that are sick” that you must chase away. The following tips make hand washing much more fun for children:

First together, then alone: ​​hand washing is part of the daily routine.

First together, then alone: ​​hand washing is part of the daily routine. (Photo: Shutterstock / MestoSveta)

# Tip 1: Wash your hands more fun with nursery rhymes and songs

30 seconds is an eternity for children. And a test of patience for parents. Songs and nursery rhymes help you judge the duration and speed up time, and washing your hands is fun.

There is hand washing songsthat many children go to kindergarten. For example:

Wash your hands, every child must wash their hands.
Wash your hands, wash your hands until they’re clean.

Wash your hands, every child must wash their hands.
Wash your hands, wash your hands until they’re clean.

Now your hands are clean, but unfortunately no towel!
So we have to shake, shake, shake, shake them
so we have to shake them till dry.

or (Source: Higiene Institute Bonn):

1 and 2 and 3 and 4
We wash both hands
5 and 6 and 7
rub with soap finely
8 and 9 and finally 10
Goodbye bacteria!

This is how it is done:
First, I got my hands wet
It’s always a lot of fun for me
Then there’s the soap
rub well and in no time
Your hands are clean again
and without much magic.

# Tip 2: Children’s Experiments: Why Soap Is So Important

1st experiment: Rub their hands with a little oil, then the children can try to wash the fat off with clean water. Now try with soap. What works better?

Second experiment: Sprinkle peppercorns or other spices in a bowl of water. Then put some liquid soap on your fingers and dip it in a bowl. As if by magic, all the peppercorns will fall to the side. It quickly becomes clear how soap works: it drives away bad sick homes.

# Tip 3: Three book tips for washing your hands

  1. “Wash your hands before eating! With 30 Flip Flops ”by Katie Daynes, Usborne Verlag
  2. “Little Princess: I Don’t Want To Wash My Hands” by Tony Ross, 360 Grad Verlag
  3. “Why? Why? Why? Junior: brush your teeth, pee ”by Frauke Nahrgang, Ravensburger Verlag

# Tip 4: Important for children: soap that is fun

Washing your hands shouldn’t be a punishment, it should be fun! And a special baby soap with a colorful pattern and great foam is much nicer than boring soap from mom and dad. We tested children’s soaps:

Instead of washing your hands: hand hygiene on the go

We can’t wash our hands everywhere on the road. Wet wipes, damp cloths or disinfectant wipes are good alternatives to running water and soap.

We tested wet wipes. Our test shows: The products have been improved and contain almost no questionable ingredients, but cause environmental problems:

Wet wipes tested: Buy ePaper now

Read more at oekotest.de:

Leave a Comment