Washing your hands often and properly is the best line of defense against infections. Washing your hands properly is simple, just follow these steps:
- 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.
What everyone can do :
1. Perform hand hygiene for the following events:
- 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
2. Adoption of the fist bump as a simple, free, and more hygienic alternative to the handshake. According to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, “Fist bumping” transmits significantly fewer bacteria than either handshaking or high-fiving, while still addressing the cultural expectation of hand-to-hand contact between patients and clinicians.
3. Especially with flu and respiratory season be extra careful to prevent the spread of infections: perform hand hygiene, do extra cleaning with approved disinfectant, and cover your cough!