Washed My Hands Patch Program®
2″ Iron-On Embroidered Patch
Suggestions For Earning the Washed My Hands Patch
Scouts of every age can benefit from learning when and how to wash their hands properly. They might be surprised by some of the recommendations.
When to wash your hands:
- Before, during and after food preparation. Most people know to wash their hands before and after preparing food. Help your girls learn that there are other times during meal preparation that they need to wash their hands as well.
- After handling raw meat, poultry, fish and eggs.
- There is often garbage while preparing food. Hands should be washed after opening the garbage can lid or opening the cabinet the garbage can is in.
- Ask the girls if they should wash their hands even if they are wearing gloves (yes).
- After cleaning the counters. Especially if they are using a chemical cleaner on the counters.
- Before eating. Your scouts probably all know they need to wash their hands before eating. Ask them if it’s okay to skip hand washing if they are using utensils (no).
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick or treating a wound. Just like with food preparation, if they are using gloves hands should be washed before them putting on and after taking them off.
- After using the bathroom.
- After changing diapers or helping someone use the toilet (such as a younger sibling).
- After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
- After touching an animal, pet food or treats or cleaning up after an animal. Ask your scouts if they would need to wash their hands after using a scooper or plastic bag to pick up pet waste (yes).
- After touching garbage.
While COVID-19 is going around, the CDC suggests also cleaning hands:
- After being in a public place and touching items other people may have touched. Ask your scouts what kinds of things that would include. Some of these items your scouts might not touch but they can remind adults about.
- Door handles
- Shopping carts
- Electronic keypads (such as at the check out counter or ATM)
- Gas pumps
- Before touching eyes, mouth or nose. Do your scouts know why this is so important? (Because these are the places that germs enter the body.)
How to wash hands properly:
- Wet your hands first. Use clean running water (warm or cold). Remind your scouts to use resources wisely and turn off the tap after they get their hands wet.
- Lather hands. Most people know to wash the front and back of their hands. Can your scouts name other parts of the hand need attention? (Between fingers and under nails.)
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Many people sing the Happy Birthday song twice to make sure they are washing for long enough. Ask your scouts if they have a different song or trick they use to make sure they are washing for 20 seconds? Do they know that the 20 seconds does not include wetting their hands or rinsing them?
- Rinse hands. Use clean running water to rinse hands well.
- Dry hands. Use a clean towel or paper towel or air dry them.
Download this handy chart to keep track of your progress!