How to Teach Children to Wash Their Hands

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To teach children to wash their hands, show them the good habit at a very young age, make it a fun activity for them, and pair it with a song. Get children to wash their hands regularly with advice from a clinical psychologist in this free video on parenting.

Part of the Video Series: Parenting Basics
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Video Transcript

Hello, I'm Dr. Deborah Wheeler, I'm the vice president of academic affairs at Argosy University on the Salt Lake City campus. I'm also a clinical psychologist and today's topic is how to teach your child to wash their hands. Now you might start when they're very young to give them an example of what good hygiene is. You should start by washing their hands with them. Put their small hands in yours and make sure you wash their hands thoroughly. Also give them just a few minutes for some water play. Young children love to play in the water and this is an opportunity for them to get their hands clean while they're also having a little bit of fun. You might want to provide them with some special soaps or crayons, things they might use in the bathtub also in the sink to make sure they wash their hands and have fun. Spend some time with them to show them how, washing under the nails and taking enough time to thoroughly wash their hands correctly. Of course you might want to set an egg timer or have some kind of timing which might include singing a song, if you sing happy birthday a couple of times you're going to make sure your child has had enough time to wash their hands thoroughly. If you'd like more information on this topic or any others that we can help you with on parenting, please contact us at


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