Clean Your Hands

Cleaning your hands helps prevent the spread of germs. Regular hand cleaning with either soap and water, or an alcohol based hand sanitizer will reduce the risk of getting sick for both children and adults.

Cleaning your hands should occur:

  • Before preparing meals
  • Before eating
  • Before putting on your mask and before taking your mask off
  • After using the washroom
  • After coughing or sneezing
  • After blowing your nose
  • After playing with pets
  • After playing outdoors
  • After coming into contact with high-touch surfaces in public spaces (handrails, elevator buttons, doorknobs, etc.)

Use warm water and soap and lather and scrub for at least 20 seconds if your hands are visibly dirty.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are safe for children

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should contain 70 to 90 percent alcohol and are safe for children. After using the hand sanitizer, the alcohol content evaporates.

They should be supervised when using it to avoid swallowing. Store it safely.

Mistakes to avoid when cleaning your hands with soap and water

  • Don't use a single damp cloth to clean a group of children's hands
  • Don't use a standing basin of water to rinse hands
  • Don't use a common hand towel. Always use disposable towels in day care or food preparation settings.
  • Don't use sponges or non-disposable cleaning cloths. Remember that germs thrive on moist surfaces.

Include cleaning your hands in the daily routine

It is important to teach children proper hand hygiene steps since they are in such close proximity when they play, around family or pets.

Include cleaning your hands as part of their daily routine, especially before and after eating, using the washroom, blowing their nose or playing with pets. A fun exercise is to have children sing the ABC song while cleaning their hands. The song takes approximately 20 seconds so this teaches children the correct amount of time needed to clean their hands.

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