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HomeAnswersGeneral Practitionerhand washing stepsWhat are the best practices for effective handwashing?

What are the strategies to educate children about hand hygiene?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At April 15, 2024
Reviewed AtApril 15, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am a 36-year-old female. I am willing to know the best practices for effective handwashing and its significance in maintaining good health. What are the correct steps and techniques for thorough handwashing? I am keen to understand the recommended duration, use of soap, water temperature, and the importance of covering all areas of the hands. How important is handwashing in preventing the spread of infections and diseases? Could you explain how proper hand hygiene contributes to reducing the risk of illnesses and contagions, especially in everyday scenarios? Are there specific situations or activities where handwashing is particularly crucial? What are the best strategies to educate children about the importance of hand hygiene and instill proper handwashing habits from an early age?

Thank you.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I will tell you everything you need to know about hand washing. Handwashing is a simple and effective way to prevent the spread of infections and diseases. Here are some best practices for effective handwashing:

1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), and apply soap.

2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. This is the recommended duration to ensure thorough cleaning. You can sing "Happy Birthday" twice to help you remember the time.

4. Rinse your hands thoroughly with clean, running water.

5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dryer.

6. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 % alcohol. Apply the sanitizer to the palm of one hand and rub it all over both hands until they are dry. Proper hand hygiene is crucial in preventing the spread of infections and diseases, especially in everyday scenarios such as:

Before, during, and after preparing food.

Before eating.

Before and after caring for someone who is sick.

Before and after treating a cut or wound.

After using the toilet.

After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing into your hands.

After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste.

After handling pet food or pet treats.

After touching the garbage.

Educating children about the importance of hand hygiene and instilling proper handwashing habits from an early age is crucial for their health and well-being. Here are some strategies to help:

1 Demonstrate proper handwashing techniques using a mirror or video to help children understand the correct steps and techniques for thorough handwashing.

2 Use songs, games, or activities to make handwashing fun and engaging for children. For example, you can sing "Happy Birthday" twice while washing your hands or play a game where children have to find hidden germs on their hands using a magnifying glass or flashlight.

3 Encourage children to wash their hands frequently throughout the day using reminders such as posters, stickers, or signs in high-traffic areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and classrooms.

4 Model proper handwashing habits by washing your own hands regularly and making it a part of your daily routine. Children are more likely to follow suit if they see their parents and caregivers doing it too.

I hope this helps you.

Thank you.


Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Vandana Andrews
Dr. Vandana Andrews

General Practitioner

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