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What kids should know about washing

Have you ever noticed that if you don't wash, your skin gets greasy, dirty, and even smelly? That gives you a clue that you should wash your skin regularly to keep it healthy. If you don't, sweat, oil and dead skin mix together with germs. Yuck! It can make you sick because germs collect on your skin and can get in through cuts and scrapes. When you wash your skin regularly, it's less likely that those germs will get inside your body where they can really hurt you. 

To keep your body clean: 

  • Use mild soap and water. 

  • Take a bath or shower as often as you or your parents think you need to. Some kids take a bath or shower every day, some every other day, some a few times a week. If you have very dry skin, your parents should take you to see a skin doctor (dermatologist), who can figure out the problem and tell you how often you should bathe. 

  • Wash when you're dirty or smelly, like after playing sports or after being outside on a hot day. 

When you get to be a teenager, you'll probably take a shower every day. 

Taking care of your skin is especially important if you have pimples. You should: 

  • Wash your face twice a day with warm water. 

  • Use a mild cleanser, which works like soap to clean your skin, but is gentler so it doesn't dry it out. 

It's also important to wash your hands a lot to get rid of germs that can make you sick. Always wash your hands before you eat, after using the bathroom, after blowing your nose, and after touching your cat, dog, or any other pets. The best way to do it is: 

  • Use clean, warm water and soap. 

  • Rub the soap on your hands with some water to make it lather.

  • Rub your hands together for about 20 seconds, scrubbing all over both sides of your hands and between your fingers. If counting is boring, sing "Happy Birthday to You" twice in your head. 

  • Rinse your hands with running water. 

  • Dry your hands off on a clean towel.