Correct hand washing techniques are often learned in a preschool setting, but reinforced during the primary years in elementary school. Writing learning objectives is crucial to planning a hand washing lesson; shape the activities accordingly and translate the reasons for the lessons into knowledge. Use the benefits of hand washing as the basis of your learning objectives.

Importance of Hand Washing

Children must understand the need for hand washing, and that it prevents the spread of infection, as suggested by the United States Center for Disease Control. Salmonella, cold and flu viruses, H1N1 and conjunctivitis are only a few of the diseases that can be prevented through hand washing. Teach students how to stop germs and viruses by using proper hand hygiene.

When to Wash Hands

Hand washing should occur after using the bathroom, blowing your nose, sneezing, coughing, before eating, after handling animals or insects, after playing outside, before taking medicine and when hands appear dirty. Enforcing hand washing tactics during this time is one learning objective of a hand washing lesson. Remind students often of when to wash their hands and stress the importance of keeping their bodies safe.

Hand Washing Technique

When integrating a hand washing lesson, one objective is for children to learn the steps for proper hand washing. Each child should practice the technique by wetting both hands and squirting liquid or powder soap, or rubbing a bar, on his hands. Rub the hands together for at least 20 seconds to kill any germs that may be on his hands. Instruct the child to sing a common nursery rhyme or state a poem while rubbing his hands to ensure the time period suggestion is followed. Rinse the hands, dry them with a disposable paper towel, and use the towel to turn off the water because the water handle may still have germs on it.

Practicing Personal Hygiene

Hand washing is only one step to ensuring personal hygiene and pairs with bathing, taking care of teeth by brushing and flossing, and washing and caring for hair. The combination of these personal hygiene procedures ensures that each child is and remains clean, thus reducing the spread of germs and disease.