Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Washing hands

About a gazillion (give or take a million) studies have shown that the most effective way to prevent colds is to wash your hands.  My sons' school teaches kids ways to wash their hands, but by the time the boys get home, the method they've learned turns into this:
  1. Turn on the water full blast, and get at least one hand wet.
  2. Put soap on one or more hands.
  3. Wander around the bathroom, with the water still running full-blast, while you sing all of "Happy Birthday".
  4. Turn off the water, grab a paper towel, and throw it in the trash can.
Forgive me for being cynical. I'm glad that my school is trying hard to prevent infection, but I hate the sound of wasted water running through my home. So I offer this alternative method. I include pictures of my sons' hands, in a blatant attempt to make them think they'll be famous for their hand-washing techniques.

1.  Turn on the water. Get both hands wet; then turn the water back off.

2.  Put soap on at least one hand. Rub your hands together until there are bubbles on both of your hands. Cool! Bigger bubbles are even better! Don't forget that your wrists are part of your hands.

3.  Turn the water back on. Rinse both hands off. Turn the water back off.

4.  Shake your hands dry. Being silly while you shake your hands earns extra points. Don't hit your brother while you're shaking your hands, or you lose points.

After you shake your hands, you can dry them further with a towel.

This all sounds petty, but the truth is that young children need to be taught how to do basic tasks.  I love the way my sister taught her pre-schoolers to blow their noses.  She'd have lessons where she'd line her whole class up, and they'd practice,
  1. blow into a tissue.
  2. pinch your nose with the tissue.
  3. pull AWAY from the face.  
Do NOT smear back and forth!  Pinch and pull, kids; pinch and pull!  Then throw the tissue away.  What a difference these lessons made to the faces of her kids. No one knows snot like a preschool teacher, that's for sure.  

1 comment:

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