Washing hands: How to get kids in the habit

By The Understood Team

Expert reviewed by Amanda Morin

Some kids who learn and think differently have trouble understanding the benefit of doing things like washing their hands. Or they may not think about the consequences if they don’t do it. It’s also hard for some kids to follow directions. No matter why your child isn’t washing up, the important thing is to get your child in the habit.

Here are some ideas:

  • Put written or picture reminders around your home and in your child’s lunchbox and backpack.
  • Write step-by-step instructions for washing hands, either in words or pictures. (We’ve created a simple one you can download.) Put them near the sink where your child can easily see them.
  • Demonstrate the right way to wash hands or show them a video. Here are a few from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in both English and Spanish.

Calmly explain that washing hands can keep people from getting sick. And not doing it puts people at risk — especially older people and people who already have health problems. Your child can help keep them safe.

About the author

About the author

The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days. 


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