Flu season is fast approaching, but there are ways to protect against viruses and germs. Hand washing is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to prevent infection. Good hand washing is the best defense against the common cold and other illnesses that spread easily from person to person.
Hand Washing 101
- Wet hands with lukewarm running water and apply soap.
- Rub hands together to make a lather. Be sure to clean between fingers and rub the palms. Don’t forget the back of hands.
- Keep rubbing hands together! Usually 20 seconds or more is good to kill germs. Sing the Birthday song twice as a rule of thumb.
- Rinse well starting at the wrist and letting the water run off of the fingertips. Remove all the lather.
- Dry hands well, using a clean paper towel or allowing hands to air dry.
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.