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Handwashing Saves Lives!

Frequent handwashing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness.  Handwashing requires only soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer — a cleanser that doesn’t require water.

What’s the right way to wash your hands?

handwashing

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
  2. Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds.  Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Always wash your hands before:

  • Preparing food or eating
  • Treating wounds, giving medicine, or caring for a sick or injured person
  • Inserting or removing contact lenses

Always wash your hands after:

  • Preparing food, especially raw meat or poultry
  • Using the toilet or changing a diaper
  • Touching an animal or animal toys, leashes, or waste
  • Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing into your hands
  • Treating wounds or caring for a sick or injured person
  • Handling garbage, household or garden chemicals, or anything that could be contaminated — such as a cleaning cloth or soiled shoes

 
Check out NSF International’s Scrub Club website for some fun ways to talk to kids about the importance of proper handwashing.
 

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