Spring has finally - fingers crossed - sprung! And with the warmer temperatures, many of us are jumping at the chance to get outside to play. Spring is a time for hands-on fun from picnics to going to the playground to bike rides.
As moms and dads, we know kids like to explore their world hands-on. It's just their nature. And that is why spring is the perfect time for us to celebrate a child’s curiosity and sense of discovery. It’s a time for us to let kids be kids.
And playing in a hands-on world– no matter if it is in our own backyards or at the playground – can also mean the chance of either picking up or spreading germs that may make us sick. But no need to worry, by practicing good hand hygiene at key moments, we can help reduce the spread of illness-causing germs.
According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, the key moments for kids and parents to either wash or sanitize their hands are:
- Before and after preparing food;
- Before eating;
- Before and after caring for someone that is sick or around someone that is ill;
- After using the bathroom;
- After sneezing or coughing; and
- After touching anything that may be a transmission vector of illness-causing germs, such as playground equipment and shared toys.
These recommendations are important since hands have been reported to spread more than 80% of illnesses1. Hand hygiene, which includes handwashing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available, is one of the most important measures we can all take to help reduce the spread of germs that can cause illness.
How to Wash and Sanitize Your Hands
For handwashing, the entire process should take at least 20 seconds. A good practice is to wet hands with water, apply enough soap
to cover all hand surfaces, rub hands palm to palm and carefully scrub fingers, the back and front of hands and each thumb. Rinse hands with water and gently dry hands with a clean paper towel.
The hand sanitizing process should take about 15 seconds. Squirt enough alcohol-based hand sanitizer to thoroughly cover your hands; rub the sanitizer into the palms of your hands, covering all surfaces - fingers, back and front of hands and thumbs. Continuing rubbing hands together until hands are dry. You can also use a hand sanitizing wipe.
So let kids be kids – to play in the dirt, swing from the monkey bars, run in the grass – and when snack time comes – let’s also remember to either wash or sanitize our hands and those of our little munchkins too – so we can enjoy a healthy spring season of fun.
We’ve teamed up with our friends at Step2 for the Healthy Play Sweepstakes. One person will win a healthy play prize pack to take your little ones from play to hand washing!