Parents need to teach children how to wash their hands to a level that effectively removes germs.

With the winter colds and other bugs around at this time of year, parents could save themselves trips to the doctors if they teach their children the importance of sufficiently cleaning their hands.

Germs are everywhere, so children should be encouraged to regularly wash their hands using soap from a soap dispenser and drying them with a hand dryer to prevent themselves and others getting ill.

Germs can spread very easily especially in busy places such as schools, touching dirty hands, couching or other contaminated surfaces can all increase the spread of disease.

When one child spreads germs to another child, an entire family can end up with cold or flu symptoms.

Hand-washing regularly and effectively is the first line of defence against the spread of many germs that cause illnesses such as a simple cold to Meningitis and Hepatitis A.

Parents should instil the hand washing habit from young age; washing hands with the children will help them to learn.

Make sure the children use warm water, not too hot, and using soap wash their hands for 20 seconds including in between fingers and under their nails.

Wash the soap off and dry thoroughly with an air hand dryer if possible, or use hand towels from a hand towel dispenser.

To stop germs spreading in the home parents should get children to wash hands before eating, after using the bathroom, cleaning, touching pets and sneezing.