Why should I wash my hands?
Germs on your hands can:
- Cause illness if you consume food or drink touched with contaminated hands
- Cause illness if you touch your mouth, eyes, nose, or ears with contaminated hands
- Spread onto other surfaces
- Spread through contact with another person
When should I wash my hands?
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Frequently when caring for someone sick
- Before and after treating a wound
- After using the restroom
- After changing diapers or helping a child in the restroom
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching animal waste
- After touching garbage
- When you get home from the store, work, or any other public place
Steps to Proper Handwashing
- Wet your hands with warm, clean water.
- Apply soap. Lather your hands, being sure to clean between your fingers, under your fingernails, and on the back of your hands. Â You should lather your hands for about 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, warm water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or hand dryer.
What should I do if I do not have running water?
If you do not have running water, the next best step is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should be at least 60% alcohol and should not be used as a first alternative. Sanitizer does not remove the same amount of germs as handwashing and will not remove harmful chemicals.
Fore more information on handwashing, visitÂ http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html.