Hand Washing 101

by SKHC Editor on December 17, 2014

Washing your hands is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.  Did you know that many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water?  If soap and water are not available you can always use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean your hands.

So, when exactly should you wash your hands?  Here are some prime examples:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

How should you wash your hands?

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Teaching kids early on the proper way to wash hands is super fun and easy with the Glo Germ™ Handwashing Training Kit.  The Glo Germ™ Kit demonstrates germ communication, cross-contamination, effectiveness of sanitary practices, and more.  Check it out at School Kids Healthcare.

Source: cdc.gov

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