March 3, 2024

Proper Hand Washing for Kids and Teens

One of the most important tools in the fight against food poisoning is hand washing. Unfortunately, even adults are sometimes lax when it comes to washing hands properly. Kids, who are more susceptible to food borne illness, may need special lessons and prompting about this crucial hygiene issue.

Hand WashingAlways wash your hands after going to the bathroom, before preparing and serving food, while you are preparing food (especially after handling raw meats and eggs), before eating, and after playing with pets or taking out the trash. It’s also important to tell kids to wash their hands frequently when they’re sick, especially after they cough or sneeze.

To properly wash hands, wet them under warm running water. Add some soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds. To time this, since “Happy Birthday to You” twice while you scrub. Make sure you pay attention to the backs of your hands, under the fingernails, and between the fingers. Then rinse your hands well and dry them on a clean towel. has a great PDF to help teach kids how to wash their hands, including tool kids, downloadable worksheets, and interactive handwashing songs and videos. The list includes activity ideas to help teach kids how germs work and why it’s so important to keep clean. You can also find information at


  1. Tami K. Hastings says

    Yes! Start teaching children young and continue to re-enforce as they learn to help in the kitchen, and LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

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