As we gather to celebrate the holidays, the “gifts” we least hope to share are the unseen pathogens that cause colds, flu and other illnesses. Holiday gatherings are prime venues for gift-exchange and, unfortunately, pathogen-exchange.
It’s not rocket science, and most adults know it, but frequent hand-washing can help reduce the “stealth” pathogen-swapping that goes on when folks congregate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that proper hand-washing is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading illnesses to others.
Do your children understand how important hand-washing is to staying healthy? You might start with this kid-friendly, 30 second video from CDC. Additionally, the American Cleaning Institute offers a fun “Clean Your Paws for Santa Claus Coloring Page”. The image caption clarifies that hand-washing “with soap and warm water for 20 seconds” precedes the reward of reaching for a cookie. Why not print out a few copies, grab a box of crayons, and share them with the children at your holiday gathering?