Friday, December 17, 2010

Good hand-washing habits help lead to good health

Today’s guest blog is by Brian Crowe, executive director of the National Association of Child Care Professionals. The American Public Health Association’s Get Ready campaign and the National Association of Child Care Professionals are raising awareness of the importance of hand-washing through a collaboration sponsored by the Colgate-Palmolive Company.

Making certain children are healthy throughout the year is a vigilant task for parents and child care providers alike. Toddlers, on average, will touch 300 surfaces within 30 minutes and can typically receive six to eight colds per year. Across the United States, there are approximately 22 million school days missed per year, which impacts not only children who attend school, but working parents who subsequently must provide care at home while they are ill.

Some of the best ways to avoid getting sick and achieve better health are through a good healthy diet, drinking lots of fluids, getting plenty of rest each night and making certain children receive their required inoculations. Perhaps the most effective means of preventing the spread of sickness is through teaching children good health through good habits.

The most practical habit is washing hands with warm water and soap, cleaning the tops, bottoms, in between fingers and under fingernails for a minimum of 20 seconds. This should be done several times per day to ensure cleanliness. The American Public Health Association, along with Softsoap and the National Association of Child Care Professionals, is helping to promote this message through a unique product developed by Softsoap. The product is a small timer that is affixed to the top of a liquid soap dispenser and activated as soap is pumped. The timer then plays music for 20 seconds. Children are encouraged to thoroughly wash their hands while the music plays, and once the music stops, they have effectively washed their hands.

Good health through good habits is something we can all enjoy. Join APHA, Softsoap and NACCP in their commitment to minimize sickness this cold and flu season. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.

The National Association of Child Care Professionals,, is based in Austin, Texas. For more hand-washing tips, visit the Get Ready hand-washing website.


lucyvanpelt said...

Where can I get a timer?

Get Ready Team, APHA said...

You can order your free online timer by visiting