Germs are everywhere! They can get onto your hands and items you touch throughout the day. Washing hands at key times with soap and water is one of the most important steps you can take to get rid of germs and avoid spreading germs to those around you.
How can washing your hands keep you healthy?
Germs can get into the body through our eyes, nose, and mouth and make us sick. Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands and helps prevent sickness. Studies have shown that handwashing can prevent 1 in 3 diarrhea-related sicknesses and 1 in 5 respiratory infections, such as a cold or the flu.
What is the right way to wash your hands?
1. Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap.
3. Scrub all surfaces of your hands, including the palms, backs, fingers, between your fingers, and under your nails. Keep scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.
4. Rinse your hands under clean, running water.
5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them
When should you wash your hands?
Handwashing at any time of the day can help get rid of germs, but there are key times when it’s most important to wash your hands.
• 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 bathroom, changing diapers, or cleaning up a child who has used the bathroom
• After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
• After touching an animal, animal food or treats, animal cages, or animal feces (poop)
• After touching garbage
• If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy