Washing our hands is a simple concept we learn as children but is still just as important to our health and well-being at any age. Our hands are where hygiene begins and ends. Keeping them clean means keeping ourselves and others safe from unwanted germs that spread respiratory and diarrheal infections.
Germs can spread in many ways, including:
- Touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Preparing and eating food that was cooked with unwashed hands.
- Touching contaminated surfaces.
- Coughing or sneezing without protecting your mouth or cleaning your hands.
How to properly wash your hands:
Step 1: Wet your hands with clean running water.
Step 2: Apply soap and lather your hands by rubbing them together.
Step 3: Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Scrub back of hands, palms, between fingers and under nails.
Step 4: Rinse your hands under clean, running water.
Step 5: Protect your hands with a paper towel while you turn off the facet. Dry your hands using a clean towel or by air-drying.
Make sure you wash your hands multiple times throughout the day, as needed. But especially when preparing food, caring for someone who is sick, after using the restroom, and anytime you cough or sneeze.