Wash Your Hands OftenYou can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often. Especially during these key times when you are likely to spread germs:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting and/or diarrhea
- 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 handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
Wash Your Hands the Right WayWashing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community. Follow these five steps EVERY TIME.
- Wet your hands with clean, running water, then apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap. Don’t neglect the backs of your hands and between your fingers.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds! It helps to 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.
Only Use Hand Sanitizer When You Can’t Use Soap and Water
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.
- Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
- Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
- Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.