Handwashing Is Important
Handwashing is the first and most important step in preventing germs from spreading. Germs are everywhere- on our food, on our skin, on door handles and light switches, cell phones and more! By washing our hands frequently, especially during cold and flu season or when preparing food, we can keep germs from spreading.
But not everyone washes their hands when they should. A disturbing study found most (95%) people aren’t washing well enough to kill germs. A staggering 10% of people didn’t even wash at all after using the restroom. Since you can’t rely on other people to keep their germs to themselves, you and your family should make handwashing a habit.
The Best Way to Wash Your Hands
- Wet hands under warm running water.
- Lather hands with soap and rub together for 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday two times through). Make sure to wash the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Rinse well under warm running water.
- Dry hands thoroughly with a clean towel or air dry them.
Note: Hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) can help reduce the amount of germs, but do NOT completely get rid of them. Soap and water are a better option, if available.
When To Wash Your Hands
- You should wash your hands anytime they are visibly dirty or sticky.
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for a sick person
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the restroom or changing a diaper
- After touching raw meat or poultry (yes, even at the grocery store!)
- After coughing, blowing your nose, or sneezing
- After touching your eyes, hair, or face (while cooking)
- After touching an animal, their food, or their waste
- After touching garbage or trash cans