Scrub-a-dub-dub | Hand Hygiene

  • By Kim Torres
    Down Syndrome Association Houston
    • Posted in

April 27, 2020

To learn about germs.

To learn how to effectively wash/sterilize hands.

To learn about the best techniques to handle sneezes and or coughs.


DISCUSS: Germs are tiny little organisms (creatures) that you cannot see with your eye, but they are everywhere. Germs are what causes us to get sick by attacking healthy cells in your body. Germs can live on your hands, clothing, door handles, and basically they can be anywhere even on things that look clean. If we know where germs are we can better fight against them (hand washing or sterilizing) when we come into contact!

Susie’s Song - The Journey of a Germ - Sid The Science Kid - The Jim Henson Company:
This video is geared towards younger children. But has a really easy to follow explaination of germ transfer and how to prevent the transfer of germs.

Stop Germs from Spreading: Wash Your Hands | Cincinnati Children’s
Geared towards an older audiance but still easy to follow. It could be helpful to watch both the Susie’s Song video and this one. To really get a full definition and understanding.

How do germs spread (and why do they make us sick)? - Yannay Khaikin and Nicole Mideo
How germs spread through a sneeze! Super informative!

DISCUSS: One of the best ways to fight against germs is to wash our hands and to do it well! Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer helps remove or destroy the germs from your hands. Remember you should clean you hands after using the restroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, sneezing, coughing, touching garbage.

Hand washing – use the following steps:

Wet your hands with either hot or cold water

Apply soap to your hands and lather masking sure to cover the backs of hands, palms, between fingers, fingertips, and under nails.

Scrub your hands all over your hands where you lathered soap – 20 seconds.

Rinse your hands with water (hot or cold).

Dry hands

Hand Sanitizer – use the following steps:

Use 60% alcohol hand sanitizer apply the product in the palm of your hands or could use alcohol wipe.

Spread the product all over your hands – backs of hands, between fingers, fingertips, and under fingernails until they are dry.

EXPLAIN: Sneezing and coughing are normal reactions when we are sick but if we are not careful to cover them we can get other people sick. Germs can spread in our sneeze or coughs into the air. If we ever sneeze or cough try to do it into your elbow, shirt, or tissue. Remember to wash your hands afterwards.

How far does a sneeze go?

Take food coloring and add it to water in a spray bottle.

Lay out pieces of plain paper on the ground in a row and spread out.

Spray the bottle outward from the paper on mist setting.

Observe how wide the water sprays and how far the colored water goes.

Then repeat using your elbow to catch the water above a batch of clean paper. Observe how far the water goes this time. Compare the difference with and without using your elbows.

Pepper and Soap-

Take pepper sprinkle it in a bowl of water.

Dip your finger into the bowl of water with pepper.

Observe what happens to you finger – this represents how germs get in your hands.

Now dip a clean finger into a bowl of soap.

Then dip the soap finger into the bowl of pepper water – observe what happened.

The pepper specks should move away from the soapy finger – this represents what happens to germs when we use soap to wash your hands.


> this lesson is a good way to talk about math and numbers. Ask your adults to look at Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to see what the alcohol content is. Or you can have them look at disinfectant wipes, disinfectant sprays, soaps, hand sanitizers and anything else you use to clean your home to see which has the highest percentage of killing germs. Have them identify which would be the most effective (kills the most germs).

> This could also be a good time to ask your adults to do some research on how to make a disinfectant cleaner. Then helping them make the cleaner (let them measure stuff out) this is real life kitchen math and learning to read and follow recipes!

>if your adult is working on comprehension or sentence structure having them watch one of the videos and write out the tips that were given in the video or write a summary on what the video talked about. Hang the tips up in a bathroom or by a sink that your adult uses often!