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Little Kids

How often should my child wash his hands?

Tips on how to keep your preschooler clean.

By David Speert, senior clinician scientist and head of the Centre for Understanding and Preventing Infection in Children at the Child & Family Research Institute in Vancouver
How often should my child wash his hands?

Photo by BassitART/iStockphoto

Q: I’m a neat freak but my four-year-old is always a mess. How many times a day can I expect him to wash up? Before every meal, or every time he gets grubby (because he’s always grubby)? Is hand sanitizer a safe substitute?

A: It is important for children to wash their hands to prevent the spread of infection. The most important times to wash are before eating or drinking, and after using the toilet. Although soap and hot water is the ideal means of washing, hand sanitizers are a good substitute in situations where water is not available.

Visit our Preschool section for more health-related articles.

This article was originally published on Jul 09, 2012

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