News and Updates

Your Mother always told you to wash your hands!

05/19/2010

You can Lend a Hand to Protect your Health

Taking time to lather up could significantly improve your health. Hand-Washing is a fast, easy and extremely effective tool in preventing the spread of the common cold, flu, diarrhea and other more serious ailments. Yet far too few of us wash our hands correctly or frequently enough.

Even though your hands might not look dirty, chances are they are. Tiny germs – invisible to the naked eye – pass easily from contaminated countertops, door handles, computer keyboards and other surfaces to hands. You can literally make yourself sick by touching a contaminated object and then introducing the germs into your body by touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Washing your hands may also protect your family and friends from becoming ill. Germs can jump easily from your hands to food you’re preparing or serving, from your hands to common household objects and from your hands directly to other people. Nearly 40 million Americans are sickened each year by hand-transmitted germs.

To protect yourself and those around you, it’s important that you wash your hands before eating and after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, petting an animal or caring for a sick child. Hand-Washing is especially important in the kitchen – wash up before you prepare or serve a meal and immediately after handling raw meat, fish or poultry.

How you wash your hands is just as important as when you wash them. To remove the maximum number of germs from your hands, follow this simple 30-second regimen:


  • Wet your hands with warm or hot water.
  • Apply soap. Washing without soap will remove few, if any, germs from your skin.
  • Rub your hands together vigorously for 15 seconds. Scrub all the way up to your wrists, including the back of your hands, in between your fingers and underneath your fingernails.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Dry hands with a paper towel or clean cloth.
  • To prevent re-contaminating yourself, use the paper towel or cloth to turn off the faucet.

If you find yourself stuck without a sink, consider using a liquid hand sanitizer. They offer strong germ-killing protection, but don’t effectively remove dirt or grime. Hand sanitizers often contain alcohol and other harsh ingredients, so use them sparingly to avoid skin irritation.