Parents: 20 Seconds Could Save You or Your Kids Weeks in Bed this Cold & Flu Season

We’re already deep into cold and flu season – but it’s never too late to start protecting yourself. Easy step? Keep your hands clean. Consider this: 65% of U.S. parents of children ages 5 and under don’t always wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, according to a new survey by Wakefield Research for the American Cleaning Institute. Any less than that and you could be leaving gross flu germs behind and spreading them to others.

And learning hand hygiene begins long before children can read and write. ACI offers parents five finger tips to help prevent their young ones from getting sick, spreading illness and missing school.

Set a good example by washing your own hands often and properly.
Teach kids to soap up for at least 20 seconds, rinsing and drying completely.
Explain to kids the reasons they should wash up, to keep from getting sick and spreading germs.
Tell kids when to wash, such as after using the bathroom, while cooking and after touching animals, blowing your nose, coughing and sneezing.
Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers or gels or antibacterial wipes on hand for when soap and water are unavailable.