Protect yourself & your child from illness & disease
One habit we focus on every single day over and over and over again is the simple but often forgotten habit of washing our hands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Keeping hands clean is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness in all settings—from your home and workplace to child care facilities and hospitals. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.
Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If clean, running water is not accessible, as is common in many parts of the world, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.
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 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 or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- 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 a 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 them.
Use Alcohol-based hand sanitizers and wipes sparingly only when soap & water are not available.
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 or wipe that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers/wipes can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers/wipes do not eliminate all types of germs. And repetitive use/dependence can lead to other problems. Supervise their use. Some sanitizers smell so tasty children want to eat them like candy; alcohol poisoning can occur.
Alcohol-free hand sanitizers may not work as well as alcohol-based
According to the CDC, there have not been sufficient studies to determine if alcohol-free hand sanitizers work as claimed or as well as alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Stay tuned.