Hand Hygiene is an Important Step in Everyone’s Health

May 2019

During cold and flu season we pay attention to hand sanitation and hygiene, but that attention can slack off in other months. No matter what the time of year, keeping your hands clean can help keep you and those around your healthy.

Here are some tips from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


When should you wash your hands?

• Before eating or preparing food

• Before taking care of a sick person

• Before treating a wound or cut

• After using the bathroom

• After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing

• After changing diapers or cleaning a child or invalid who has used the toilet

• After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste. Also, after handing pet food or pet treats

• After touching garbage


How should you wash your hands?

• First, wet your hands with clean running water — warm (not hot) or cold — and add soap.

• Lather up by rubbing your hands together with the soap.

• Scrub all surfaces of your hands: palms, backs, finger, between fingers and under nails.

• Scrub for at least 20 seconds. That’s the equivalent of singing or humming the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

• Rinse those hands well under running water.

• Dry your hands using a clean tower or air-dry them.

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