Handwashing: A Family Activity

Handwashing can prevent 1 in 3 diarrhea-related sicknesses and 1 in 5 respiratory infections, such as a cold or the flu.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, handwashing becomes an even more important activity to help prevent the virus from spreading.

Knowing when and how to wash your hands to stay healthy and prevent the spread of germs is the first step for kids and adults alike. Remind yourself and teach your kids the 5 steps to good handwashing. 

Steps to Proper Handwashing:

  • Wash
  • Lather
  • Scrub
  • Rinse
  • Dry

It’s great to work as a team in the kitchen but germs can follow you everywhere!  Proper handwashing skills and remembering to wash your hands during those key times, when germs can readily spread while cooking, is so important. Get in the habit of washing hands before you ever start any food prep activity.


A fun reminder poster in the kitchen, near bathroom sinks and wherever you and your kids think will help you all develop this healthy habit is a great idea.  Leading by example is important and before you know it, if handwashing is a family activity, the kids will be reminding YOU!

Megan Dougherty is a Family and Consumer Science Riley County Extension Agent with K-State Research and Extension.

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