How to Keep Your Kids Germ-Free

It is a common struggle for parents across the board. We all want to protect our kids and keep them healthy and free of germs. But the truth is, we can’t monitor all their behavior, especially during the school day. What we can do is teach them good habits and set clear standards around the home.

No matter what your child’s age, you will find these lifestyle tips useful for limiting the spread of germs, and for keeping him or her healthy and happy.

Encourage regular hand washing at a young age

No matter how clean your child is, or how spotless you keep your home, germs are everywhere: school, vehicles, a friend’s house, there is no escaping them, the best way to combat the critters is to teach your children to wash their hands correctly and regularly. They should use warm, soapy water slathered on hands for approximately 20 seconds before rinsing. Both the front and back of the hands need to be scrubbed, as well as the nails and between the fingers. It is most sanitary to use a disposable paper towel to dry hands as opposed to a communal cloth towel.

Children should wash their hands after using the bathroom, playing outdoors, returning home from school and after spending time in any public place.

Teach children that not all sharing is good

Anything that enters the mouth should not be shared. Utensils, food, and drinks are easy avenues for germs to spread like wildfire. Always label your child’s lunchbox, all items in it, and all snack items. In addition, instruct your child not touch or eat anyone else’s food. It is also good practice to wrap a napkin around a sandwich when transferring it to a plate. Hands should be washed before and after eating.

Encourage your kids to play outside

Children need fresh air, exercise and a good dose of Vitamin D to boost their immune systems. Spending a few hours outdoors each day will benefit them by making them less vulnerable to nasty germs.

Show children how to cover their mouth correctly when they cough or sneeze

Germs spread quickly through the air when a child fails to cover a cough or sneeze. A cough in the hand without washing right away will also wreak havoc. To minimize potential damage, teach children to cough or sneeze into a tissue to be disposed of immediately or into the crook of their elbow.

Proper hygiene is one of the most important lessons you can teach your child. It is something they will use for life and it will help keep them healthy.