Can Washing Your Hands Keep You From Getting Sick?
Washing your hands throughout the day just might save your life. According to the CDC, washing your hands prevents diseases and respiratory infections from spreading from one individual to another. Washing your hands can also improve the health of your town’s population too. Think about it, if everyone washed their hands throughout the day, your city would be a lot less sick!
When is the best time to wash your hands?
Washing your hands is always encouraged no matter what time of the day it is, however there are certain times during the day to make sure your hands are cleaned!
- 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 toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After touching garbage
What is the correct way to wash your hands?
Whether you believe it or not, there is a certain way to wash your hands. Most of us do not typically follow this way, but should. Handwashing is like a “do-it-yourself” vaccine—it involves five simple and effective steps (Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry) you can take to reduce the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illness so you can stay healthy. Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.
Here are 5 important steps to washing your hands correctly:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Just remember, as silly as it may sound, washing your hands correctly and often throughout your day just could very well save someone’s life.
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Have a great day.
Corey Myers is the Outreach & Enrollment Specialist for Northwest Health Services and works with healthcare professionals to provide important health information.