boy playing with toys

Most Dangerous Toys of 2019

There is nothing quite like the joy of the holidays. The gatherings, the decorations, the gifts- these are just a few of the many things we all enjoy. However, that joy can quickly dissipate if a toy your child was eager to unwrap causes an injury! Every year, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (WATCH) releases its list of most dangerous toys. We hope this information helps you to have a happy and safe holiday season.

 

The Top Ten Most Dangerous Toys of 2019

 

Note: The toys on the list are not the only hazardous toys on the market. Please use them as examples of hazards you should be aware of when making toy purchases. 

 

Viga Pull Along Caterpillar

 

Even though “crib toys” must adhere to the industry’s standard of strings with less than 12 “, pull toys are allowed to use cords of up to 24”. This makes this pull toy as well as others a strangulation and entanglement hazard for young children.

 

Learning Resource’s Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

 

This toy comes with 3.5″ removable, plastic quills for children 18 months+ to practice fine motor skills as they remove and replace the pieces. Children at this age are, of course, very prone to putting small items in their mouths. The plastic pieces can create a choking hazard.

 

Nickelodeon Frozen Treats Slime

 

Slime is one of the most popular toys among young children this year. However, many slime kits, including this one, come with a warning that it contains chemicals that can be harmful when misused. Marketing slime kits to appear as food items adds to the danger. Young children may be tempted to eat these tasty “treats”, but they should not be ingested.

 

Spin Master’s Bunchems Bunch’n Build 

 

This toy includes small balls designed to stick together so children can build whatever their imagination creates. However, not only are these small parts a choking hazard, but they also may cause entanglement issues in hair. If you allow your child to play with this toy, be sure to keep hair pulled back and pets away.

 

Hasbro’s Power Rangers Electronic Cheetah Claw

 

This toy may not be hazardous for your child but is for anyone else around them! The claw is inserted over the arm and is made of hard plastic. Discuss playing safely with this toy with your child, away from others, pets and breakable items.

 

Schylling’s Diecast School Bus

 

This toy does come with a choking hazard warning for small children. However, at first glance, it may seem harmless. The problem lies with the removable, firm rubber tires. This type of manufacturing is very common with toy vehicles and poses a serious choking threat.

 

Anstoy’s Electronic Toy Gun

 

This toy gun looks very real at first glance. Replicas of guns have sadly led to numerous, tragic deaths over the years. Please use extreme caution if allowing your children to play with toy weaponry.

 

Flybar’s Pogo Trick Board

 

This “pogo board” includes a large, high bouncing ball for children to stand on either side of while causing the board to bounce. Protective gear including knee and elbow pads, and helmets are a must with this toy!

 

Douglas Company’s Yeti Plush

 

This adorable stuffed animal includes long hair which may be ingested leading to aspiration. This toy is a great example that age recommendations are not always well thought out. This toy is labeled with a recommendation of 24 months and up.

 

 

Even if none of these exact toys are on your list, we hope these examples help you think twice before you assume all toys labeled as “safe” for your child’s age actually are. We wish you a happy and safe holiday season!

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

young football player

Football Safety Tips

Many parents have mixed feelings about their children playing contact sports such as football and rightfully so. Injuries in these sports are common. There is nothing you can do to prevent 100% of football injuries from happening. However, from wearing the proper gear to ensuring your child follows certain techniques during practice and on game day, there are many great tips you can follow to prevent a good number of football-related incidents. 

 

Football gear for safety 

If you have the option to purchase your child’s helmet yourself, familiarize yourself with the helmet safety guidelines determined by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE)

Helmets should have a thick layer of padding surrounded by a hard plastic outer shell. They should also have facemasks produced from coated carbon steel that are secured to the helmet. Depending on the position your child plays, his or her coach may recommend a particular type of facemask. Lastly, helmets should be secured with a chin strap and protective chin cup. 

Additionally, all players should have shoulder pads with a hard plastic shell and thick padding. Pants should have padding on the knees, hips, tailbone, and thighs, and all players should wear a mouthguard. Male players should wear an athletic supporter with a cup to prevent testicular injuries.

Each league has its own rules regarding the types of shoes and cleats players can use. 

Other items that you might want to consider include “flak jackets” to protect the abdomen and rib cage, forearm pads, padded neck rolls, and padded or non-padded gloves.

If your child must wear glasses during football, be sure that they’re shatterproof. 

 

Football training tips

During practice, the coach should emphasize safe and fair practices among players. Physical contact should be less during practice including helmet-to-helmet and helmet-to-body contact. He or she should insist on all players wearing the correct protective gear as well. Coaches should teach players proper techniques including how to tackle, how to absorb a tackle, and how to fall safely to the ground when tackled. 

To prevent injuries, take your child for a sports physical before starting a new sport. Remind him to stretch and warm up before playing. Overuse injuries can be avoided by playing different sports throughout the year. 

Ensure your child drinks plenty of fluids before and after games and practices, especially on hot days. 

 

Safe Game Tips 

Discuss the safety rules implemented during practice with your child and following them during games. Encourage your child to not argue with referees and be respectful to everyone. Encourage him to stay calm and let his coach and referee know if another player attempts to injure him on purpose. 

 

 

Lawton Community Health Centers (LCHC) located in Lawton, Comanche, Elgin, Marlow, and Cache communities are available to help with school and sports physicals, verify immunizations are current and discuss any other medical or nutrition concerns with parents. For more information or to make an appointment with one of our LCHC clinics please call our Provider Referral Line at 580.510.7030.

 

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

kids in school

Back-To- School Health Tips

Without warning, summer flies by, and suddenly it is time to go back to school! It is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the many things on our back to school lists like shopping for school supplies and new clothes. However, it is important to add a few tasks on your list that are more important than new tennis shoes. Here are four tips to help your child have a happy, healthy and successful school year! 

 

Make sure sleep needs are met 

 

Did you know that the majority of children in the U.S. do not get enough sleep? Some studies show as much as 70% are sleep deprived depending on the age breakdown! To encourage healthy sleep hygiene, remove electronic devices from your child’s reach an hour before bedtime. Darken sleeping areas as it is still very light at bedtime in the summer months. Limit caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon. 

 

How much sleep is enough? For preschoolers (age 3-5) The National Sleep Foundation recommends 10-13 hours. School-aged children should sleep 7-8 hours, and teens should sleep at least seven hours. 

 

Fight off school illnesses 

 

Closer contact with more students means closer contact with more germs. Ward off illnesses with healthy habits! During the lazy days of summer, comfort foods and treats may be a normal part of your child’s diet. School time is a great time to implement a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, a daily multivitamin and plenty of water. Hand washing is a must, but attaching hand sanitizer to your child’s backpack when the restroom isn’t readily available is a good idea too. 

 

To learn more about preventing specific illnesses, check out our article “Back-to-School Illnesses.”

 

Schedule your child a checkup 

 

All student-athletes should have sports physicals, but annual checkups are recommended rather your child plays sports or not. At your child’s check-up, the physician will discuss any needed immunizations, nutrition needs, and any other health concerns you may have. 

 

If your child does not have a regular pediatrician or primary care physician, consider reaching out to one of our Lawton Community Health Centers conveniently located in four communities throughout the area. 

 

Don’t miss out on the chance to visit with your child’s teacher 

 

Many parents do not take advantage of the opportunities offered to meet with their child’s teacher. Even if your child’s grades are fine, don’t assume everything at school is fine. Take the time to attend parent-teacher conferences. 

 

Many teachers undergo training to recognize a variety of problems that may affect your child’s school performance and health. The more specific questions you ask about your child’s performance, the more productive these conferences will be. Vision problems, depression, anxiety- sometimes it takes a teacher and parenting meeting together to discover concerns that require medical attention.

 

We hope the 2019-2020 school year is the best year ever for you and your family!

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

girl wearing contact lenses

Is Your Child Ready for Contact Lenses?

August 19-23 is Contact Lens Health Week! One concern you may have regarding contact lenses is knowing when it is safe for your child to ditch their glasses and begin wearing contacts. There is no perfect age when it comes to your child being contact ready; it is more a matter of maturity. Even babies can wear contacts for certain conditions such as cataracts. If your child is begging to give contacts a try, here are five signs he may be ready. 

 

She brought the idea up

 

This may seem like an obvious reason for readiness. However, a child who asks to get contacts should be more motivated to take care of them himself than a child who did not have the idea until it was mentioned. 

 

He plays sports

 

Contact lenses are a great option for children who participate in sports. Good vision is especially important during sports and children have more options for protective eyewear than with glasses. Additionally, they don’t have to worry about their glasses slipping due to sweat or getting broken glass in their face by accidental impact.

 

She is hygienic and clean 

 

If your child has a love for getting dirty, this is ok. However, it may not be the right time to begin wearing contacts. Unclean contacts add risk for eye infections. 

 

He does chores without constant reminders 

 

No one wants to nag their children to do chores. If you constantly must remind your child to do things, taking proper care of their contacts will be one more thing on this list. If they’re simply not mature enough, contacts can be a great accomplishment in years to come. Contacts may also be a great incentive to mature in the coming months if they’re not acting mature as you know they could.

 

She takes good care of her glasses

 

Don’t assume a child that takes poor care of his glasses will take better care of his contacts. Although there are more opportunities to misplace glasses throughout the day, improper contact care has added health concerns. 

 

One consideration to make is how much easier it is now to take care of contact lenses with daily disposables. Disposables allow you to put in a fresh pair of contacts every day without the need for cleaning regimens or contact solutions. 

Have questions about contacts for your child? Find a CCMH Physician by visiting our provider directory.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

school aged child with backpack

Back-to-School Illnesses

Back to school means back to the doctor for many children. It can be very stressful for many families to deal with what seems to be never ending illnesses. School is, unfortunately, a hot spot for viruses and bacteria to flourish including common childhood illnesses that attack immature immune systems of young children. You may already be very familiar with some of the illnesses that commonly spread at school such as the cold or flu. What about other school illnesses like lice or pink eye? Here are 4 common illnesses you may encounter this school year. 

 

Lice 

 

Lice are tiny parasites that feed on your blood. They spread especially easily from schoolchildren through close personal contact and by sharing belongings. It is difficult to completely prevent lice among school children because  they commonly store their items so closely together. 

 

To prevent the spread of lice, encourage your children not to share items. Lice spread through items such as brushes, clothing, headphones, hair decorations, combs, towels, pillows, stuffed toys and blankets.

 

Symptoms of lice include seeing nits in the hair. Nits are the eggs or young form of a louse that attach to human hair. Many  mistake them as dandruff, but unlike dandruff, lice do not brush off easily. Your child may complain of intense itching and have small bumps on the neck, scalp and shoulders. 

 

Nonprescription shampoo that’s specifically formulated to kill lice will usually take care of a lice problem, but you should see your doctor if the shampoo doesn’t kill the lice. 

 

Pink eye 

 

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva). This membrane covers the white part of your eyeball and lines your eyelid. When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva are inflamed, they are  more visible. This causes the whites of your eyes to be pink or reddish. Pink eye is usually the cause of a viral or bacterial infection.

 

Symptoms of pink eye include a gritty feeling in one or both eyes, itchiness in one or both eyes redness in one or both eyes, tearing and discharge that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning. 

 

If your symptoms don’t begin to improve within 12 to 24 hours, make an appointment with your eye doctor to make sure you don’t have a more serious eye infection.

 

Pink eye can happen along with colds or respiratory infections such as a sore throat. Wearing contact lenses that aren’t cleaned properly or belong to someone else cause bacterial conjunctivitis.

 

To control the spread, teach your children to wash their hands often, use clean towels and washcloths daily and change pillow cases often. They should avoid sharing these items as well as eye cosmetic and eye care items. During a pink eye episode, be sure to throw away eye cosmetics such as mascara too. 

 

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease 

 

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild, contagious viral infection. It is spread through bodily fluids. Young children often spread this illness by touching their diaper area during diaper changes or bathroom breaks. 

 

Symptoms include a rash on the hands and feet and sometimes buttocks, fever and painful sores in the front of the throat or mouth. 

 

Practice proper hand-washing and avoid close contact with people who are infected with hand-foot-and-mouth disease to reduce your child’s risk of infection and disinfect common areas often.

 

Contact your child’s doctor if the discomfort keeps your child from properly hydrating or if symptoms worsen after a few days. 

 

Mono 

 

Mononucleosis (mono) carries the nickname of the “kissing disease.” The virus that causes mono transmits through saliva, so you can get it through kissing, but exposure also occurs through a cough or sneeze, or food or drink sharing. Adolescent or young adults most commonly contract mono. Young children usually have few symptoms, however, and the infection often goes unrecognized.

 

Symptoms of mono include sore throat, fatigue, fever, headache, rash and swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits as well as swollen tonsils. 

 

If your symptoms don’t get better on their own in a week or two, see your doctor. It’s important to be careful of certain complications such as an enlarged spleen. Rest and adequate fluids are vital to recovery.

 

Is your child in need of pediatric care? Find a pediatrician in our online directory!

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

mother holding baby

Flying With Breast Milk

August 1-7  is World Breastfeeding Week! A common concern many moms have is flying with breast milk either due to exclusively pumping or not having their child with them. Flying with breast milk for the first time can be nerve wracking. How much can you bring? What can you do to ensure your milk is allowed to pass security checkpoints? Before you travel this summer, take a look at this list of things to things to know about flying with breast milk to ensure you are able to fly without any added stress.

 

Know what you are allowed to carry

 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) states that you may pass the security checkpoint with formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers ”in reasonable quantities.” You do not have to ensure that your milk fits into quart sized bags or meets the 3 oz rule that applies to other liquids.  Remove these items from your carry-on bag so the agent may screen them separately from the rest of your belongings. 

 

A breast pump is a medical device and therefore does not count as your carryon luggage.  The cooler you bring to store your milk in however, does count if carried separately from your other carryon luggage. Many times little attention is given to how many bags a passenger is actually bringing onto the plane, but be prepared to explain why you have an extra carryon item when carrying a pump if needed. 

 

You may also bring gel or liquid-filled teethers and canned and processed baby food in carry-on luggage. Additional screening may occur with these items.  

 

How TSA screens breast milk 

 

When going through security, always declare your breast milk. Kindly ask the TSA agent to change into clean gloves before he inspects your milk. TSA typically screens breast milk by x-ray. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that there are no known adverse effects from consuming items screened by x-ray. 1

 

If your milk is frozen solid, the TSA agents will not perform special tests. If thawed, the TSA officers may ask you to open the container and even transfer a small quantity of the liquid to a separate empty container for visual inspection. Kindly request that the TSA agent put on clean gloves before touching your cooler. If the agent conducts a test, he or she wipes the bottle with a piece of paper and puts the paper in a machine that tests for explosives.

 

How to store your milk 

 

To store your milk, you need a water-tight cooler with plenty of ice packs. If you can do without bottles, breast milk storage bags will pack easier and lighter than bottles. After security, consider sealing your cooler with duct tape to keep it cool and prevent leaking. 

 

If booking lodging, try to find a hotel that has rooms with a refrigerator/ freezer. If you do not have a freezer in your room, or it doesn’t cool enough to freeze your milk, ask to keep your breast milk cooler in the hotel freezer. 

 

Pumping while traveling 

 

Many airports offer a breastfeeding lounge or baby care area. If one is not available, search for a family restroom with an outlet.

 

For your convenience, it is possible to mail/ship breast milk. This can be helpful if you are gone for an extended period and need to send milk home for your baby. However, shipping breast milk is costly. There are services that ship breast milk exclusively or you can ship via services such as FedEx. In order to do this, you must purchase dry ice, a styrofoam cooler, and a box for shipping. 

 

Dry ice is cold enough that it can make plastic breast milk storage bags or bottles brittle and break. To prevent this, seal your breast milk bottles in zip-lock bags and pad them with crumpled up newspaper inside your cooler.

 

The US Postal Service does not permit dry ice in the mail. You can however ship milk with regular ice packs overnight. This is much cheaper but of course has the added risk of milk thawing en route.

 

For international travel, contact the consulate of your destination country to determine their individual shipping regulations.

 

 

 

Comanche County Memorial Hospital is proud to be recognized as a Baby Friendly Hospital by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

 

Do you have questions about breastfeeding? For travel questions, always check the latest TSA guidelines. For general questions, our Infant Feeding Resource Center would love to meet with you and discuss any breastfeeding concerns you may have. 

 

Resource

1 U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Frequently Asked Questions on Cabinet X-ray Systems. 9 March. 2018.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

school desk

Back-to-School Checkups for Children

School supplies, backpacks, new clothes and shoes may be on parents’ to-do list to get kids ready for the first day of school, but also important is scheduling a wellness checkup with a primary care provider to make sure kids are healthy and ready to learn.

 

Lawton Community Health Centers (LCHC) located in Lawton, Comanche, Elgin, Marlow and now Cache communities are available to help with back-to-school and sports physicals, verify immunizations are current and discuss any other medical or nutrition concerns with parents.

 

LCHC clinics provide convenient hours and locations to meet your family’s needs.  Some of our services include…

  • Primary Health Care
  • Dental Services with referral
  • Mental Health Services – Counseling (Child/Adolescent/Adult)
  • Diabetes and Nutrition Services with referral

 

LCHC provides family practice and pediatric services to individuals with Medicaid (SoonerCare), Medicare, and private insurance.  LCHC also provides healthcare to those residents who do not have health insurance on a sliding fee schedule. Patients are required to provide proof of income to ensure they receive discounts for which they are eligible.

 

For more information or to make an appointment with one of our LCHC clinics please call our Provider Referral Line at 580.510.7030.

 

The following health and safety tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). 

 

Here are some things to think about before the school year starts.  Being prepared and ready-to-go can help get the new school year off to a good start.

 

MAKING THE FIRST DAY EASIER

  • Parents should remember that they need not wait until the first day of class to ask for help. Schools are open to address any concerns a parent or child might have, including the specific needs of a child, over the summer. The best time to get help might be one to two weeks before school opens.
  • Point out the positive aspects of starting school to create positive anticipation about the first day of class. They will see old friends and meet new ones. Talk with them about positive experiences they may have had in the past at school or with other groups of children.
  • Consider starting your child on their school sleep/wake schedule a week or so ahead of time so that time change is not a factor on their first couple of days at school.
  • Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your child can walk to school or ride on the bus.
  • Many children become nervous about new situations, including changing to a new school, classroom or teacher.  This may occur at any age. If your child seems nervous, it can be helpful to rehearse entry into the new situation. Take them to visit the new school or classroom before the first day of school. Remind them that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are nervous and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible. If your child seems nervous, ask them what they are worried about and help them problem solve ways to master the new situation.
  • If it is a new school for your child, attend any available orientations and take an opportunity to tour the school before the first day. Bring the child to school a few days prior to class to play on the playground and get comfortable in the new environment.
  • If you feel it is needed, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day, and get there early on the first day to cut down on unnecessary stress.
  • Make sure to touch base with your child’s new teacher at the beginning or end of the day so the teacher knows how much you want to be supportive of your child’s school experience.

 

BACKPACK SAFETY

  • Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
  • Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.  Go through the pack with your child weekly and remove unneeded items to keep it light.
  • Remind your child to always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
  • Adjust the pack so that the bottom sits at your child’s waist.
  • If your school allows, consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried upstairs, they may be difficult to roll in the snow, and they may not fit in some lockers.

 

 

Disclaimer 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Hands in sink with running water

Teaching Kids to Wash Their Hands

This week is National Hand Washing Awareness Week. Teaching kids to wash their hands can be difficult. Young children are always on the move, and don’t want to slow down to practice boring hygiene habits. Still, it is important to instill important hand washing practices in your children.

 

Teach children when to wash their hands

 

Good hand washing is the first line of defense to combat various illnesses — from colds to the flu, meningitis, bronchiolitis and hepatitis A. The first step is letting children know we wash our hands to help keep everyone safe! Then, make it a habit by always washing their hands when the following activities take place:

  • before eating and cooking
  • after using the bathroom
  • before and after visiting sick friends or relatives
  • when coming in from outside
  • when finished cleaning around the house
  • after touching animals
  • after blowing one’s nose, sneezing or coughing

 

Discuss germs

 

Helping children to understand the concept of germs can be challenging. Explain to children that germs are most everywhere on surfaces and our hands. Consider finding a book with lots of pictures or simple songs or videos online to show them.

 

Make hand washing convenient and safe

 

Getting up to the sink can be hard for small children. Making it a fun, safe and convenient practice is important. Place a stool in front of the sink if the child cannot reach the sink by his or herself. Let children pick out a fun stool with characters, colors or designs he or she enjoys. Many stools for children have rubber grips on the steps to help secure their footing as well. Also, consider putting a rug under the stool to help catch water and prevent slipping. Kids can make a mess when the sink is involved.

 

Make sure hand towels are easily accessible also. Towel racks that are too high and cause children to reach too much could result in a fall.

 

Teach children how to use the soap

 

It may take awhile before a young child is capable of getting his or her own soap. Practice using the soap pump with them. Also, choosing a themed soap dispenser may be fun for some children.

 

Make sure the water is a safe temperature

 

Turning on the tap and getting the temperature just right may be difficult for many children. Teach your child how to turn on the cold water first and to slowly increase the temperature. Demonstrate putting just the tip of a finger in the water to test the temperature.

 

Help children learn how long to wash

 

You should wash your hands for 20-30 seconds. This is about the amount of time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice or the alphabet song once. You may also teach children how to set a timer and watch it count down while they wash.

 

Rinse well


Teach children to look thoroughly for any soap residue. It is not dangerous to leave soap bubbles behind. However, children often put their hands in their mouths. The taste of soap may be a deterrent from wanting to wash their hands in the future.

 

Carry hand sanitizer when on the go  

 

Soap and water is always best, but sometimes it may not be available when you are on the go. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

 

As with everything else they learn, good hand washing practices come to small children with lots of practice. Remember to praise their good behavior as you are teaching them this important tip in their daily hygiene routine.

For other healthcare concerns regarding your children, visit ccmhhealth.com/directory/specialties/pediatrics to find a list of CCMH Pediatricians.

 

Disclaimer

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.