The simple act of washing your hands with soap can protect your child and you from many diseases. The first step against the fight against the dreaded Convid-19 (Corona Virus) is to wash your hand thoroughly with soap and water. Unicef or the United Nation Children’s Fund has prepared a simple and easy to follow information sheet on how to wash your hands and stay safe in the time of Convid-19.

This is the Unicef step by step how to wash your hands routine.

  • Step 1: Wet hands with running water
  • Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands
  • Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including back of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds.
  • Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water
  • Step 5: Dry hands with a clean cloth or single-use towel

Your child can sing the full Happy Birthday song twice while she/he lathers their hand. Could be annoying but well worth the time. The same time limit should be maintained if the child is using a hand sanitiser.

When should your child wash their hands?

  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After visiting a public space, including public transportation, markets and places of worship
  • After touching surfaces outside of the home, including money
  • Before, during and after caring for a sick person
  • Before and after eating

Even as many countries are in lockdown, children must maintain personal hygiene. They should wash their hands before and after mealtimes, before eating a fruit or a snack, after playing a board game or touching common surfaces like doors, lift buttons etc. Children must wash their hands after touching a pet, after using the toilet, after taking out the trash or anytime the hands look dirty.

Should I use warm or cold water to wash my child’s hand?

Unicef suggests that both warm and cold water can be used to wash hands. Both are equally effective. The important thing is to use soap while washing hands.

What must I do after washing my child’s hand?

After you wash your child’s hand, make sure they dry it using paper napkins or a clean hand towel. Viruses settle in faster on wet hands rather than dry. So make sure the child’s hands are completely dry after washing their hands.

What do I do if I don’t have soap?

In the event that you do not have soap or a hand sanitiser, Unicef suggests you can wash your child’s hand with chlorinated water. If you have access to wet wipes, please use them. Make sure you wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you can and do not touch surfaces in the meantime.

Wash your hands in 11 easy steps

Wash Hands Steps
Wash Hands Steps

Take a look at this video which shows the WHO method of hand washing.

Wash yours as well as your child's hands and stay safe!