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More than you ever thought you needed to know about handwashing ...

Keep Your Family Healthy Through Proper Hand-washing

This year, the flu has become an epidemic in the continental United States, and children ages 6 months to 18 years are considered one of the most vulnerable groups. The center for disease control indicates that proper hand washing is a key precaution in preventing the spread of communicable diseases like the flu.

Wash hands before, during and after food preparation, before eating, before and after caring for a sick person, after using the restroom, after changing diapers, or after blowing your nose, coughing and sneezing. Additionally, wash hands after handling garbage, pet food, animals, or animal waste. Please note that children generally exhibit poorer hygiene habits, so vigilance is key in helping them from spreading germs.

Before washing your hands, especially in public, make sure you have a paper towel ready so you can also use it to turn off the water and open the door. Touching the sink knobs, paper towel holder, or door handle can essentially undo diligent washing.

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. That's about the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice. Be sure to scrub everywhere, between fingers, under finger nails, etc. Rinse your hands with running water. Grab your paper towel to turn off the faucet, open the door, and then toss it into the trashcan.

Hand sanitizer can be used as an alternative when you cannot find a location to wash you hands. Hand sanitizers do not remove all types of germs and they are not effective if your hands are visibly dirty. Effective hand sanitizers should have at least 60% alcohol. Put about a nickel sized amount on your palm and spread all over hands until dry.


Asked by Ballad at 8:38 PM on Feb. 19, 2013 in Health

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
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Answers (7)
  • we just rid of a flu bug that got into our place. not olny do the kids wash their hands all the time, we have be spraying and using the lysol wipes on everything. the girls have been even using the wipes in their room on their play stove. they don't want that bug to come back!

    Answer by noel1978 at 8:42 PM on Feb. 19, 2013

  • I've actually seen this in a 1st Aid video. I have done that for years (I don't sing to myself tho) & I always feel guilty about wasting water!


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 8:40 PM on Feb. 19, 2013

  • This isn't new news...

    Answer by Crafty26 at 8:40 PM on Feb. 19, 2013

  • House rules , do not touch anything until you wash your hands and I do not follow the 20 second rule , just wash ,rinse , then repeat 3 times, add gel after all of that.

    Answer by sunshine196 at 8:50 PM on Feb. 19, 2013

  • Thanks for the reminder!

    Answer by m-avi at 8:54 PM on Feb. 19, 2013

  • if i washed my hands that much id have no skin left...there isnt enough lotion in the world.

    Answer by okmanders at 9:29 PM on Feb. 19, 2013

  • i already do all of this... minus the singing lol my hands are horribly dry this winter! i put lotion on them and then stupid me made the comment "idk why my knuckles are so dry and cracked, i keep lotioning" and then.. DUH! im washing the lotion right off.. brain fart.

    Answer by nnh_mama at 9:58 PM on Feb. 19, 2013