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I know it's been said time after time, but washing your hands will keep you out of the doctor's office.
With the kids returning to school and sharing pencils, pens, food, drink, and coughing/sneezing on each other illnesses such as strep throat, pink eye, stomach flu, and Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD). Kids missing school can certainly throw a wrench in the day when there are plenty of things to keep stay-at-home-parents busy. Plus, miserable, sick kids don't make the happiest of homes.
The best method I've found is for the kids to wet their hands under warm water and add the soap. Turn off the water because they tend to immediately wash off the soap. Have them scrub their hands (don't forget the thumbs) for a good 20 seconds. We usually sing a song like Happy Birthday or Row, Row, Row Your Boat (twice) or the first verse and chorus of a popular song before turning the water back on and rinsing.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), good handwashing can reduce bacteria and virus that cause illness.
Handwashing should be practiced before and after eating, after using the bathroom, and after sneezing or coughing into your hands. For more information on hand washing or to watch the video, go to http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HandWashing/.
If hand washing is not immediately available, anti-bacterial wipes are a substitute, but hand washing is the better choice.