Washing 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. When you think about all of the things you touch and places you go every day, there is no way to prevent germs better than washing hands frequently and correctly.
When Should You Wash Your Hands?
You can help yourself and others, at work and home, stay healthy by washing your hands, especially during these key times when germs are likely to get on your hands and can easily spread to others. Washing during cold and flu season is especially pertinent.
Best Times to Wash Your Hands
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds (the length of “Happy Birthday”). The following times are suggested for washing at work, whether you work in childcare, an office, or a restaurant.
- Before, during, and after preparing food;
- Before and after eating food;
- 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 touching garbage.
Using Hand Sanitizers
When you don’t have access to soap and water, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used. However, you should wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you can. Remember, hand sanitizer is not a substitute for proper handwashing as it does not clean all of the bad germs and strips away some of the good germs that help to protect your immune system.