Wash your hands often, because clean hands keep you from getting sick (and spreading germs!)

handwashing_456px

Now is a good time to be reminded about how important it is to do something very simple for your health: Wash your hands, and wash them often. It’s one of the best things you can do (besides getting immunized) to avoid getting sick or spreading germs to others.

Let’s start with the basics. When should you wash your hands?

After using the toilet is No. 1, but in general it’s a good idea to wash your hands when you get home or are preparing food or are ready to eat. You should also wash up before and after caring for someone who is sick, after changing a diaper, after holding or petting an animal, and after blowing your nose or coughing or sneezing into your hands.

Is there a right way to wash your hands?

There are essentially five steps to washing your hands the right way: Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse and Dry. You should use soap and water and rub your hands together to lather the soap. Be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails each time you wash. You need to vigorously rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds, which also is the length of the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end, twice. Hum it to yourself and then rinse your hands under running water and dry them with a clean towel or allow them to air dry. Continue reading

Advertisements

Wash Your Hands: Clean Hands Save Lives

As cold and flu viruses start to make the rounds, it’s a good time to be reminded about how important it is to do something very simple for your health: Wash your hands, and wash them often. It’s really the very best thing you can do (besides getting your immunizations) to avoid getting sick or spreading germs to others.

This seems like a simple concept, but let’s start with the basics anyway. When should you wash your hands?

After using the toilet is No. 1, but you also should wash your hands before, during and after preparing food, before you eat anything, before and after caring for someone who is sick, after changing a diaper, after holding or petting an animal, and after blowing your nose or coughing or sneezing into your hands. Any time you’ve been outside your home and you’ve touched money, or stair railings or elevator buttons – anything that lots of other people have touched – it’s a good idea to wash your hands.  Continue reading