For Handwashing Awareness Week (Dec. 2 to Dec. 8), let's review the best way to scrub your hands and prevent the spread of germs.
Handwashing can be one of the best ways to prevent illness and protect ourselves from pesky germs. Today, we understand how vital handwashing is to our health and celebrate Handwashing Awareness Week to spread the word about its importance. Here are some tips for washing properly.
Wash frequently. Whenever you've handled something that might contain germs, hit the sink. Wash your hands after sneezing, coughing or touching your face. Other key times include throughout meal making or eating; handling trash, animals or injuries; while caring for babies or someone who's sick and after using the toilet.
Soap it up! Nothing can replace the effectiveness of soap. Lather every part of your hands and scrub it all over fingers, palms and backs of hands.
Time will tell. The Center for Disease Control advises lathering hands for 20 seconds before rinsing. A great way to keep children scrubbing longer is to ask them to sing the "happy birthday" song two times.
Dry right. Be sure the towel you use is clean. Otherwise, air dry.
Sneeze smart. If you keep your hands clean, your hands can't transmit germs in the first place. Germs can live for 2 hours or more on surfaces, including skin. Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the corner of your elbow/sleeve rather than you hand. Watch out for nasty habits like biting your nails.
When in doubt, sanitize. If you can't get your hands on soap, the next best thing is hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer has become so popular that you can find dispensers on the way in and out of the grocery store, and tiny bottles that you can hook onto a backpack or handbag are sold everywhere.
Central Florida Regional Hospital is here to help you stay health. Questions or concerns? Call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-445-3392 if you would like any health information or are in need of a physician referral.