Handwashing is one of the most important things you can do to prevent the spread of many diseases!
How to Wash
1. Wet hands.
2. Use soap.
3. Rub hands together to work up a lather. Scrub hands together. being sure to wash palms, Be sure to scrub backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails. Scrub for at least 20 seconds. (You can sing the "Happy Birthday" song to yourself twice--that's about 20 seconds.)
4. Rinse hands under running water.
5. Dry hands with a clean towel.
6. Use towel to turn off faucet.
When to Wash
- Before handling or preparing food
- Before and after eating
- After using the bathroom, after changing a diaper and after helping a child use the bathroom
- After touching blood and other body fluids (urine, feces, runny noses, vomit, etc.)
- After handling pets, after cleaning their cages or tanks
- After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, after wiping a child’s nose
- After playing or working outside
- After handling trash
- Whenever hands look, feel or smell dirty
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to stop the spread of germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers help reduce the number of germs on hands, but do NOT get rid of all types of germs.
To use a hand sanitizer:
- Read the product directions for how much sanitizer to use.
- Put sanitizer on the palm of one hand.
- Rub hands together, covering all surfaces of the hand.
- Let hands air dry.
- Wash hands with soap and water as soon as you can.
When you wash your hands often, your skin can become dry or chapped. Germs can enter the body through openings in dry, cracked skin. Here are some tips to keep from getting dry, chapped hands:
- Wash hands with warm (not hot) water.
- Use mild soap
- Pat skin dry rather than rubbing
- Moisturize your hands often. Put lotion on while hands are still moist after washing.
- Wear gloves to protect hands from chemicals, dirt and cold weather.
- Repair hands at night, if needed, by using a hand cream with glycerin or petrolatum and wearing light cotton gloves to bed.
Handwashing Works (English)
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