Hand Washing and Illness Prevention
Students, did you know that hand washing is the single most important thing you can do to prevent from getting sick? If everyone routinely washes their hands, particularly before and after certain activities, we would have a lot less students missing school. It is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. Hand washing is so easy and simple to do and requires only soap and water and if you don’t have that, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
So when do 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 animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage or dirty shoes
Here are the easy simple steps of washing your hands clean:
- 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.
If you are already washing your hands regularly, keep up the good work!! Remember that routine hand washing should be an automatic everyday habit. You’ll be thankful that you do it and thankful for those that do the same.
Another way to keep from spreading germs is cover your cough and sneezes. Do you cover with your hands? Let’s hope NOT! Cover your coughs and sneezes in your shirt sleeves. Your hands touch many surfaces and we don’t want the germs on your hands to contaminate surfaces that are shared by other people around you….surfaces like the doorknobs, the telephone, the computer, your desk, and so on.