Clean Hands, Healthy Community: Tips for Proper Hand Hygiene

Hand washingClean hands are the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses, from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as meningitis, bronchiolitis, and influenza. Many germs are spread because people don’t effectively wash their hands and practice good hand hygiene. A recent study found that only 5% of participants wash their hands long enough to kill germs.

To ensure a healthy community and to stop the spread of disease, follow these tips and techniques for proper hand washing:

  • Water alone cannot effectively clean soiled hands. Use soap!
  • When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Wash your hands for 30 seconds, starting with the dirtiest part of your hands – your nails. Here is a great blog post on hand washing technique.
  • Teach children to wash hands to form good hand hygiene habits. Tip: have your children sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice while washing.
  • Dry your hands properly. Bacteria thrives in damp places.

Wash your hands throughout the day and especially before and after handling food, coughing or sneezing, and after using the restroom.

If you are in an area that does not have stationary sinks, renting a portable hand washing sink will help keep you and the people around you clean and healthy. For more information on hand hygiene, visit the CDC website.

Photo Credit: Kathea Pinto

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