Here is the right way to wash your hands to keep you and your family safe this winter

Handwashing hygiene

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Cold and flu season is fast approaching, and although we might feel like slaves to the snot, there’s plenty we can do to keep our children and us fighting fit as the weather cools down.

The most important thing? Make sure everyone in the house is washing their hands correctly.

We spoke with Dr. Aurora Sedmak, a naturopathic physician at Transformational Health, who reminds us that nothing beats warm water and soap when it comes to washing your hands.

Dr. Sedmak shares that regular hand washing is one of the most basic and effective ways to break the cycle of infection. Getting children into the habit of washing their hands when they arrive and leave their center and when they blow their nose or have something to eat is a great way to stop the spread of germs.

“Handwashing is more effective than using antibacterial cleansers or wipes because the agitation of the soap with a clean-rinsing of water gets rid of bacteria better,” says Sedmak.

While regular handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds is still the top recommendation for killing viruses on your hands, we recognise that there will be situations when hand sanitiser is required throughout the day.

Other good habits include washing towels and sheets regularly, at least weekly.


When should children wash their hands? 

Before starting their day at the Centre and going home

Before and after handling or eating food

After using the toilet or having a nappy change

After using a tissue

After coming in from outside play

After handling 


After using clay, paint and glue etc.

Make it Fun!

Wanting to inject a little fun into their hand washing routines, Guardian Childcare & Education Lemon Tree Centre Manager, Lily, and her team compiled a list of catchy songs to sing along to while they’re washing their hands throughout the day.

Happy Birthday seems to be the song of choice to sing or hum while washing your hands for the recommended twenty seconds, but our team were keen to make the song choices more personal and engaging,” says Lily.

“A quick Google search showed that we had many alternatives out there to use and that we could have a little fun with our hand washing.”

“It’s amazing how such a simple addition to our hygiene routine has had such a positive effect throughout our Centre.”

To encourage hand washing in the toddler room, the children have been singing Happy Birthday, often dedicating the song to their classmates and friends, whereas the three-year-old’s, have been practicing their numeracy skills by counting to twenty while washing their hands.

“To further build on our hygiene practices, we have been practicing cough and sneeze etiquette with the children, as well as scientific experiments on the use of soap, plain water or leaving your hands unwashed,” says Lily.


What’s your favourite song to wash your hands to?

Which song keeps the children engaged most? 

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