I find it quite hard to wash my toddler's hands in a public restroom which may have a very wet counter and otherwise be a bit dirty. It's hard to operate soap dispensers which require two hands to use. Also, he loves grabbing at the faucet and handles, to the point where I think his hands might be dirtier than when we started. Tips?
The approach I use with my son is to lift my leg up and put my knee against the counter, then set him on my thigh (with a leg on both side). This way he can get to the sink without getting too close to the not so very clean areas and I can keep a hold of him and help. About the only downsides are:
- the knee of your pants can get filthy if the sink isn't too clean.
- if he swings his legs in excitement at playing in the sink, you get kicked in the crotch.
I'm not sure how tall your toddler is or even if they can stand yet?
My son is now 4 and quite tall, but I previously used to let him stand on my shoes in front of me which gave him enough height to reach over the top of the counter.
Someone has to touch the faucet / handles so you're not going to escape that. What I used to do was wash his hands inside mine and make sure there was plenty of soap. Then once finished take him over to dry your hands.
I think if the faucet / handles are dirty; if your hand are thoroughly clean, but still a little wet, if you dry them properly after touching the handles you don't really have an issue with germs.
This is a hands on approach and will ensure your child's hands are properly soaped, washed and dried. Then you should be fine.
Also (slight product plug) you can use a hand sanitizer after you have dried off if you are still worried.
I do something similar to Cabbey. I hold my one year old straddling my knee against the sink or on my hip. We lean over and wash my right hand and his left hand, then dry both of those. Then we switch sides and wash my left hand and his right, and then dry both. I don't hold him close enough to touch the handles easily. I like the hand gel afterwards sometimes too.