Tips from the Hand Washing Experts

It´s always important to practice good hand hygiene but that´s especially true during cold and flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to prevent infection. Remember, wash your hands:

  • after using the bathroom
  • after changing diapers
  • before preparing food
  • after handling uncooked meat and poultry
  • before eating
  • after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • whenever your hands are dirty

Here´s how to wash your hands correctly:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap.
  • Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
  • Continue rubbing hands for 15 to 20 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" twice through to a friend.
  • Rinse hands well under running water.
  • Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.
  • Always use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands.

Alcohol-based hand rubs significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and are fast-acting.

Hand washing among school-age children is especially important because it's estimated that at least 22 million school days are lost every year due to the common cold. Scientists believe that our hands may transmit up to 80% of all infections so hand washing is key to stopping the spread of infection and staying healthy.


Avoid the Flu