Germs are invisible and they are just about everywhere. When you or
your child touch a doorknob, pick up a book or pet a dog, hands pick up
While some germs have little effect, germs like E.Coli and Salmonella, can
make people very sick. Since we can't tell the good germs from the bad,
we all need to wash our hands and ensure that our children wash their hands to
Parents need to lead by example and remind children to wash hands,
especially at the following times:
- After using the washroom.
- After petting an animal.
- After picking up after the family pet
- After changing diapers
- Before and after preparing food
- Before eating
- Before and after Brushing your teeth.
- When returning home after an outing, especially if the visit was to a
doctor's office. When using public restrooms for handwashing, try to
avoid touching surfaces after washing.
Hands need to be washed more often during the cold and flu season,
especially if someone with a cold is around.
In addition to washing hands, it's important that hands be washed
thoroughly. Hands should be rubbed at least 15 seconds with soap and
water. Attention should also be given to clean under the nails and any
rings. Hands should also be dried thoroughly with a clean towel.
While it is not necessary to use anti-bacterial soap, ordinary soap should
due, anti-bacterial products do come in handy when soap and water is not
It's also important to ensure that where the soap sits is clean.
Using bars of soap usually means that a soap dish is nearby. Soap dishes
that drain allow the soap to dry and reduce the chance of bacteria growing on
the soap. If the soap dish does not have a drain, a regular cleaning is
needed. Pump soaps are great at avoiding this and kids love to use
them. Towels also contain germs and it's a great idea to change them
daily for heavy use. Hanging them up to dry also reduces the bacteria
content of towels.
Children love to put things in their mouth and fingers usually end up in
there too. Encourage children at an early age to keep their fingers out
of their mouth to reduce germs.
Sometimes lots of handwashing can lead to dry and chapped skin on the
hands. These cracks can let germs enter through the skin, but keeping a
hand lotion handy near the soap dish/pump and using a small amount after each
washing will keep hands looking better.
For more tips go to Safety tips for Using Public Washrooms
and Petting Zoo and Animal Exhibit Safety Tips.
By Maureen Hall.
Our thanks to Safe Kids Canada for some of the information contained in
this article and for drawing our attention to this issue.
While we have tried to provide you with
a list of suggestions to help parents when travelling with
children to keep them safe, unfortunately, we can’t
think of everything and it is the responsibility of
parents to ensure their children’s safety.