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Hand washing: The good, the bad, and the ugly

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Everyone knows that children are always putting their hands on everything. They love to touch and feel the world around them. This is a very good way for them to learn. It is also a very good way for them to pick up germs.

THE GOOD- Teaching children how to wash their hands the right way is very important. Teach them to turn on the water first, then get their hands wet, get some soap, then rub their hands together while singing the birthday song twice, then have them rinse the soap off their hands, get a paper towel, dry hands, and then turn the water off with the paper towel. According to The Mayo Clinic, hand washing is the best way to keep from getting sick.

THE BAD- While washing your hands is a good thing there are now studies being done that show that washing your hands too much is also a bad thing. There are people now saying that the use of all the anti-bacterial soaps and sanitizers that we use are making our immune systems not as effective. Some studies have shown that cultures who don't use anti-bacterial soaps report less illness, according to NBC News Health.

THE UGLY- When children wash their hands all the time their hands become dry and cracked. This can be painful. For some reason when a child's finger hurts they put it in their mouth. When children put their fingers in their mouths and touch things around them it helps spread germs. Like with any open wound those open cracks are great places for germs to go straight to the blood stream making the child sick. Instead encourage your child to apply lotion.

When teaching children about hand washing, remember the duration is important; it is possible to wash them too much; and to keep their hands out of their mouth.

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