While I’m sure you probably already wash your hands regularly, let’s make sure you’re doing it effectively. No more quick rinses, we all need to be washing our hands thoroughly to kill germs and prevent sickness. It’s amazing what something so simple can do to benefit your overall health. Did you know that washing your hands can prevent 1 in 5 respiratory infections, like the cold or flu?
It’s important to wash your hands throughout the day, especially:
- After using the bathroom
- After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
- After changing a child’s diaper or cleaning a child
- After touching pets, their food, their treats or their waste
- After handling garbage
- Before, during and after handling food
- Before and after eating a meal or snack
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
And as a refresher, here are the handwashing dos and don’ts that will help keep you and your family healthy.
DO wet your hands with warm or cold water, then apply soap and work into a lather.
DO wash your hands for a full 20 seconds, then proceed to rinse and dry your hands.
DO sing a song, if you need to. Singing or humming “Happy Birthday” twice takes 20 seconds.
DO use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water aren’t available.
DON’T solely rely on hand sanitizer. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer doesn’t kill all types of germs, including norovirus.
DON’T let the water run over your hands while lathering. This rinses off the soap too early, making your handwashing less effective.
DON’T touch the sink when you’re done, as this area is filled with germs. Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet, if possible.
DON’T forget to teach your kids the appropriate way to wash their hands. It’s a lesson they’ll use for the rest of their lives.