We’ve all been sick from time to time. Colds and the flu come along now and then, and they’re no fun when they keep us from doing the things we want to do. That’s why people try so hard to stay healthy.

Did you know that experts believe the most important thing you can do to avoid illness is wash your hands? It’s true!

Over half of cold and flu viruses can be killed by properly washing your hands at least three times each day.

Sometimes your hands may look clean when they really aren’t. Why? Germs and the bacteria that cause illnesses are tiny and invisible to the naked eye.

If you think about it, most of the stuff you do every day involves your hands. For fun, keep track of everything you do for a day.

If you do, you probably won’t believe how many things you touch. From faucets to light switches to toilet handles to doorknobs, a lot of the things we touch every day can contain germs and bacteria.

When you touch something with germs on it, the germs transfer to your hands. You can then transfer those germs to other things you touch. Luckily, it’s easy enough to break the cycle and stop spreading germs: Just wash your hands!

While washing your hands may seem like a no-brainer, there’s actually a proper way to wash your hands to make sure you kill all the germs. Just follow these simple steps:

1.       Wet your hands with warm water and then add soap.

2.       Rub your hands together and lather up for at least 20 seconds. Clean all the parts of your hands thoroughly, including your fingers, palms and wrists. Also, don’t forget to clean under your nails!

3.       Rinse your hands well.

4.       Dry your hands with a clean towel, paper towel or air dryer.

5.       Turn off the faucet with a towel to avoid touching it after washing your hands.

To stay healthy and keep bad germs away, wash your hands often. It’s especially important to remember to wash your hands at these times:

  • before eating or cooking
  • after using the bathroom
  • after touching animals
  • after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • after playing outside
So don’t give your parents a hard time the next time they ask you to wash your hands. They’re just trying to keep you healthy.

And parents, you are a great role model for your children, so wash your hands often, too. Remember: The 30 seconds you spend washing your hands could save you a trip to the doctor's office!


Wonder What's Next?

Although most children can’t wait to get older, their parents often wish they could turn back the hands of time. Join us in Wonderopolis tomorrow, as we take a dip in the Fountain of Youth!