During cold and flu season, handwashing is the best way to prevent yourself and your family from getting sick. Germs are everywhere; they get on our hands and items that we touch. Handwashing can prevent 1 in 5 respiratory infections such as cold and flu, and 1 in 3 diarrhea-related illnesses. Do not use hand sanitizer if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy. Here are some other facts you should know:
How to use alcohol-based products like Purell or Cal Stat (it should contain 60% alcohol):
- Apply gel to hands.
- Rub hands together carefully covering all surfaces including fingertips.
- Rub gel over all the surfaces of hands and fingers until dry.
How to wash hands with soap and water:
- Use warm running water and soap.
- Lather hands for about 15 seconds (count to 15).
- Rinse well.
- Dry hands with a single-use paper towel.
- Turn off the faucets with the paper towel.
- Put paper towel into the trash.
When to clean hands:
- After sneezing/coughing/blowing nose.
- After using the toilet.
- Before and after eating.
- After handling waste/emptying trash.
- After touching money/handles of shopping carts/railings.
- After playing.
- After touching animals.
- Before handling food.
- After touching raw meats, poultry, and fish.
- When arriving at work.
- Anytime you change tasks (go from one thing to another)
For more information go to cdc.gov/handwashing. For more health and wellness tips and information, visit our news page at newhealthcenter.org.