Doctors worry a lot about public health. Public health involves teaching people about diseases and how to avoid them. One of the best ways to fight disease and stay healthier is something you can do in your own home. Washing your hands is the best way to kill germs that get onto your hands as you touch things. The more often you wash your hands, the more germs you will kill, which can help keep you and other people healthier.

Importance of Clean Hands
You can’t see germs, but they are almost everywhere. When you touch a light switch or a doorknob, germs hop onto your hands. When you touch toys, germs from the toys hop onto your hands and any germs on your hands hop onto the toys. Washing with soap and water helps get rid of germs on your hands. Cleaner hands mean that you don’t spread germs to other people and surfaces. Cleaner hands also mean that germs don’t get into your body when you touch your mouth, eyes, or nose.


How to Wash Hands Properly
Scientists who want to help with public health have studied how soap and water kill germs. After doing experiments, scientists figured out that washing your hands for about 20 seconds is important for killing germs. The best way to wash your hands is to use warm water and soap to lather up your hands and fingers. Some people like to sing a short song like the ABCs or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” while they wash to make sure they wash for a long enough time. After lathering, rinse your hands and dry them with a clean towel. You should wash your hands before cooking and eating, after using the bathroom, when you come home, and after you have been near someone who is sick.


Lesson Plans, Games, and Activities
You can have fun as you learn about germs and hand hygiene. Play games and do activity worksheets to learn about handwashing. You can also fill in coloring pages to help you remember to wash your hands. Lesson plans are also available to help teachers teach kids about hand hygiene.