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      Handwashing 101

      At least once a day, many parents and teachers ask children if theyâ??ve washed their hands.

      There are thousands of invisible germs lurking along the surfaces of things kids touch, and that's why kids should wash their hands regularly.

      "It's very important for little ones to wash their hands because they are touching everything in their sight. They are touching chairs, toys, other people, and pencils. Anything that is in sight is touched by their hands," said Linda Grego, second grade teacher at Houghton Elementary.

      Children have a much weaker immune system than adults, and bacteria can cause kids to get sicker a lot quicker.

      Nurse Shannon Handler of Aspirus Keweenaw tells us why.

      "A lot of colds and viruses are transmitted or transferred to other people via cough and drainage from the sinuses, and when they touch their hands after coughing to anything else, they can easily spread germs that way," said Handler.

      Using soap and water is the most effective way to kill germs, but if those are unavailable, hand sanitizer is the next best thing. Make sure it contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Flip the lid and place the clear gel into the palm of your hand, then rub your hands together until they're dry.

      There are five steps to properly washing hands:

      1. Wet hands with warm water and use soap.

      2. Rub your hands together, making sure to scrub all areas.

      3. Rub for a minimum of 15 seconds or sing "Happy Birthday."

      4. Rinse thoroughly, then dry hands on a paper towel.

      5. Turn faucet off with the paper towel, not hands.