So Important ?
First Line of Defense Against Germs
Good hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses — from the common cold to more serious infections, such as meningitis, bronchiolitis, the flu, hepatitis A, and most types of infectious diarrhea.
Germs can spread many ways, including:
• touching dirty hands
• changing dirty diapers
• through contaminated water and food
• through droplets in the air released during a cough or sneeze
• on contaminated surfaces
• through contact with a sick person’s body fluids
When kids come into contact with germs, they can unknowingly become infected simply by touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. And once they’re infected, it’s usually just a matter of time before the whole family comes down with the same illness.
Kids don’t always listen when parents tell them to wash their hands before eating, after using the bathroom, or when they come inside from playing. But it’s a message worth repeating — hand washing is by far the best way to prevent germs from spreading and to keep kids from getting sick.
To minimize the germs passed around your family, make regular hand washing a rule for everyone, especially:
before eating and cooking
after using the bathroom
after cleaning around the house
after touching animals, including family pets
before and after visiting or taking care of any sick friends or relatives
after blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
after being outside (playing, gardening, walking the dog, etc.)
Don’t underestimate the power of hand washing!