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How to Wash Hands Properly

Hand washing is a simple and effective way to help prevent infection. It is vital to understand when to wash hands, how to wash hands, and how to get children into the habit.  Touching people, surfaces and objects during the day leads to accumulation of germs on your hands.  This can lead to infecting yourself by touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  These instructions are based on information provided by Mayo clinic staff:

Wash your hands BEFORE:
  • Preparing food or eating
  • Treating wounds, giving medicine, or caring for a sick or injured person
  • Inserting or removing contact lenses

Wash your hands AFTER:
  • Preparing food, especially raw meat or poultry
  • Using the toilet or changing a diaper
  • Touching an animal or animal toys, leashes, or waste
  • Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing into your hands
  • Treating wounds or caring for a sick or injured person
  • Handling garbage, household or garden chemicals, or anything that could be contaminated — such as a cleaning cloth or soiled shoes
  • Whenever they look or feel dirty.
How to Wash hands:
  • Wet your hands with running water.
  • Apply liquid, bar or powder soap.
  • Lather well.
  • Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.  (See the poster graphic below for details)
  • Rinse well.
  • Dry your hands with a clean or disposable towel or air dryer.
  • If possible, use your towel to turn off the faucet.

 

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