Published monthly in The Marysville Advocate, "To Your Health" articles provide information about health and wellness topics.
Handwashing during flu season, December 2018
"Wash your hands, because Jesus & germs are everywhere!" - this saying is especially true during flu season.
Keeping hands clean through proper hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.
When should you wash your hands?
• Before, during, and after preparing food
• Before eating food
• Before and after caring for someone who is sick
• 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 waste
• After handling pet food or pet treats
• After touching garbage
How should you wash your hands?
• Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
• Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
• Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
• Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
• Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
What should you do if you don't have soap or water?
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and might not remove harmful chemicals. Hand sanitizers are not effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
How should you properly use hand sanitizers?
• Apply the product to the palm of one hand & rub over all surfaces of your hands/fingers until your hands are dry (usually about 20 seconds).