Stop and remember the thousands of times you heard your mom say, “Wash your hands” when you came in after playing outside. “Keep your hands away from your face” was another favorite “mom” expression. 

I remember those days as a child. Now that I am grown, I find myself saying, “Did you wash your hands?” to my 84-year-old mother. How life’s little circle comes around in small remembrances and good lessons learned through the years. These lessons stay with you throughout your life so that you may carry them on to the next generation of life’s lessons learned as a child.

I think of the many public places and at home where we pick up germs and bacteria without even realizing it. Even on the car radio coming to work, we pick up bacteria and germs. It can be very surprising to find out it’s the daily things we touch that have the most germs Our children and families need each other’s cue in life as a reminder to “wash your hands”.

Resources are to educate and teach each of us. The health department, Iowa State University Extension offices, churches, schools, child care homes and centers, and preschools are all good sources of public awareness of contagious diseases. You can find many ways to educate through work and play:

  • Teach children to sing a song while washing hands (two minutes)
  • Lead activities and games with children using soap and water
  • Use daily visuals of pictures showing steps by step how to wash your hands
  • Read books or watch a video of washing hands for children
  • Simply ask a child to wash their hands (be an example “Wash Your Hands” with them)
  • Teach children the diseases and germs they can get by not washing their hands

Teach us while we are young so we can pass it down generation after generation. That is the one circle of life to carry on! 

Bobbette Beedle


Tags: handwashing , washing your hands , iowa state university , health

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