December is National Handwashing Awareness Month, and trying to stay healthy can often begin with keeping our hands clean! And while most are taught when we are young to wash our hands before dinner, or after using the restroom, it is crucial to be aware of what your hands are touching throughout the day. Clean hands can prevent sickness. We will be taking time this month to relearn the basics of hand hygiene so that we can all be great hand washers!
HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS:
- Start with getting your hands wet with water.
- Get enough soap to be able to cover the front and back of your hands with suds.
- Now rub your hands together and scrub the front and back of your hands, in between your fingers, and under your fingernails.
- Rinse your hands completely and then dry with a clean paper towel, single-use towel, or air dry.
WHEN SHOULD YOU WASH YOUR HANDS?
- Try to wash your hands before, during, and after preparing a meal or snack. Then before or after eating.
- Being close to someone who has been sick, particularly those who are vomiting or have diarrhea.
- After using the restroom, changing diapers, blowing your nose or coughing.
- Also make sure to wash your hands after touching pet food or taking out the trash.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO WASH YOUR HANDS?
Washing your hands is important because it slows down the spread of germs and bacteria which can decrease your chance of getting sick or getting those around you sick. Germs can spread from person to person or from touching surfaces. Make sure to wash your hands frequently to lower your chances of sickness or spreading sickness.
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU WASH YOUR HANDS?
The CDC recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? You can sing or hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice or sing or hum your ABCs.