Hand Washing

Hand washing

is the single most important strategy to avoid spreading germs and getting sick. As we approach the flu season over the next few months, it is important to practice hand washing before and after preparation of food, before eating, after toileting, before and after treatment of a cut, and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that hands should be washed with clean, warm, running water and soap. Rub hands together vigorously scrubbing all surfaces of the hands for 20 seconds. One can hum "Happy Birthday" to time yourself. Rinse hands well and dry with a paper towel. Use the paper towel to turn off the facet, and dispose of the paper towel accordingly. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based gel with at least 60% alcohol can be used, but be remindful that this should not take the place of good hand washing with soap and water.

Remember also, when you cough or sneeze, use a tissue to cover your mouth, and if you don't have a tissue, use the the bend of your arm. This prevents germs from spreading onto your hands. Another important factor to consider is your personal hygiene. You can help prevent the spread of germs by showering or bathing daily, keeping your laundry clean, and changing your clothes on a daily basis.