Healthy Children - August 2011


Hand washing

Hand washing is one of the most important ways to keep your preschooler from getting sick.

Preschoolers are much less likely to get sick if they wash their hands properly. Plus, it may become a healthy habit for life! Children should wash their hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds each of these times:

  • After using the bathroom
  • Before and after handling food
  • After playing with pets or visiting a petting zoo
  • Whenever they are dirty


Make hand washing FUN!

  • Sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” or “the Alphabet Song” through while washing hands to make sure your child is washing long enough.
  • Have your child pick out a special hand washing soap.
  • Help your preschooler reach the sink easily by placing a stool in front of it for them to stand on when you are with them.


For fun activities for older preschoolers to learn more about hand washing, visit the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) website.

Reprinted with permission from the USDA United States Department of Agriculture.