Are Your Hands Clean?
Hand washing is one of the simplest things we can do to stay healthy everyday. Experts agree that hand washing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). When should you wash your hands? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Before, during and after preparing food
- Before eating
- Before and after caring for someone at home 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 treats
- After touching garbage
6 steps to clean hands
Many people do not take the time to wash thoroughly. Did you know there are 6 steps to getting your hands really clean? The Pierce County Health Department recommends the following:
- Wet your hands with warm water
- Apply plenty of soap
- Scrub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Wash the front and backs of your hands, between fingers and under nails. Scrubbing your hands loosens germs and helps to wash them away.
- Rinse your hands with warm water
- Dry your hands with a paper towel
- Turn off the water with your paper towel
What about hand sanitizer?
The CDC recommends soap and water washing over hand sanitizers when possible, as sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs (including norovirus) and are not as good at getting heavily soiled or greasy hands clean. Sanitizers may also not remove harmful chemicals like pesticides and heavy metals. If you are using sanitizer, make sure you choose a product with at last 60% alcohol and that you apply according to manufacturer’s directions.
Where do most germs live?
Germs can live anywhere, but did you know which items you touch every day are likely to be the dirtiest? According to Time magazine, watch out for these dirty items:
- Hand towels
- Toothbrush holders
- Kitchen sponges
- Cutting boards
- Cell phones
- Shopping carts
As you can see, you may be as likely to get catch a bug inside your home as outside of it. No one likes to be sick. Keeping your hands clean is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to stay healthy both during flu season and year-round.