Handwashing is easy to do and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness in all settings-from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.
When should you wash your hands?
• 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 restroom
• After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the restroom
• After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
• After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste
• After touching garbage
What is the right way to wash your hands?
• Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
• Rub your hands together to make lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
• Continue rubbing 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 running water.
• Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.