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


Every day the boys come home from preschool, I’m praying that we have been spared the sickies. I feel like if you even say a word about sickness it seems to appear right after, so in my house we try to not wake the sleeping giant!

However it’s inevitable that we will get those kiddie germs, and the boys will come home sick with a runny nose or a fever. We try to do our best to teach our boys about germs and about the importance of washing your hands.

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.

Finger Tips Infographic jpeg

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.

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

I know it’s hard to have your kids wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, as my children want to finish to get to their next activity. But if it can prevent having them sick in bed, I’m going to try my best to explain the importance of washing longer.

Now we have a special treat for you! We are giving a way a $100 Visa Gift Card to one lucky reader! Simply comment below and share your own cleaning/hygiene tips that you teach your kids!

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Over 20 years ago, I moved to Knoxville and fell in love with the city that has now truly become my home. Shortly after moving here, I married my college sweetheart, and when not working we set out to travel as much as we could. After working as a financial manager for six years, I welcomed my first son in 2010 and began a journey as a stay-at-home mom. Two years later we added another baby boy to make us a family of four. In June 2016, we welcomed our third son. I founded Knoxville Moms in November 2013 which began my career as a work-from-home mom, and it grew to the expansion of Chattanooga Moms in March 2016. We welcomed our first girl in November 2017 making us a family of six and adding a little pink in our house. In June 2021, I became the co-owner of the Atlanta Mom website, and in March 2022 I became the owner of the Nashville Moms parenting website. When I'm not carpooling the kids to sports and activities, you can find me enjoying a cup of coffee, reading a good book, and dreaming about my toes in the sand. I enjoy meeting new people and enjoy connecting the moms of Knoxville, Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Nashville.


  1. We are big on teaching good hygiene to our 3 year old son. we make it fun too by singing songs and doing it together from washing our hands to brushing our teeth.

  2. Good hygiene is so important. We wash our hands after using the bathroom, coming inside after playing, and before every meal. It’s not just about hand washing. I also push teeth brushing. I have a thumb sucker in first grade who only sucks his thumb at night. But because his hands go to his mouth, brushing those germs away are equally necessary!! I work in a medical facility so my kids get to see just how important it is to be heathy.

  3. Doc McStuffins and some of the different kids apps that teach hygiene have been super helpful, especially Pepi Doctor. and of course, being a good example ourselves!

  4. Keeping our hands clean, especially finger nails.
    Keeping our hands out of our mouths. (Haha, seems simple)
    I try to keep backpacks sanitized with Lysol spray, etc to keep germs away and wipe down lunch boxes every couple of days. Because I know those are the two most items used and touched most often!

  5. We always sing twinkle twinkle little star while washing our hands to make sure we wash them long enough. I make sure my daughter knows when she needs to wash her hands, so even if she’s with someone else she knows to wash them. Also when we are out in public I find myself constantly saying don’t touch that, don’t touch that, don’t touch that!!!!!!! If I could wrap my kids in bubbles I would. I probably need to see a therapist about my germ phobia. Once while washing my hands in front of my friend, she asked if I was scrubbing in for surgery.


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