Whistle While You Wash: Proper Hand-Washing Technique



Did you know one of the most effective means to keep your family healthy is probably the simplest?

I'm talking about good hand washing.Boy washes his hands at a sink

You may have heard from your doctor and news reports, especially during flu season, just how important it is to wash your hands.

In fact, proper and regular hand-washing can also prevent sicknesses like most types of infectious diarrhea, hepatitis A and meningitis.

However, you only enjoy these benefits if you're washing your hands correctly. Now, you might be saying to yourself, "Wait a minute. There's a right and a wrong way to wash my hands?" And the answer is, "Yes, there is!"

But, you're not alone. Most people don't know how to effectively wash their hands to prevent the spread of germs. Luckily, it's easy to learn the proper technique. I've put together a video to help both you and your children learn how to wash your hands to help prevent the spread of disease.


Washing Your Hands Correctly

You can read the steps below while you watch. Download the one-page instructions here.

  1. Wet your hands with warm water.
  2. Apply enough soap to make a really good lather.
  3. Rub your hands palm to palm.
  4. Rub your palms around your hands.
  5. Clean between your fingers by interlocking your fingers and pushing your palms up and down.
  6. Rub the back of your fingers on your palms.
  7. Rub the tips of your fingers and nails on your palms.
  8. Grab your thumb with your other hand and rub in a rotational circle backwards and forwards.
  9. Rub around your wrists.
  10. Rinse your hands thoroughly.
  11. Dry your hands thoroughly with a single paper towel.
  12. Use the towel to turn off the water faucet.

Whistle While You Wash

So what do I mean by, "Whistle While You Wash?" To help you and your family remember how long the hand washing process should take, you can whistle or sing the lyrics to the Yankee Doodle song twice. The Happy Birthday song works just as well. The total time spent washing should add up to about 30 seconds.

With everything in life, practice leads to improvement, so be sure to take full advantage of opportunities to rehearse these steps with your children. It will help you to remember the steps and will reinforce them for your kids too. Now, enjoy your clean hands and know you have just done the single most important thing to prevent yourself from getting sick!

Also, don't forget to get your family immunized for the flu this season. Here are some tips for preparing your kids for a trip to the doctor for shots, which should help make your appointment go that much smoother.

Here are links you can explore to learn more about the importance of hand-washing: