Handwashing for Your Health

How to do it and why it helps

You know that washing your hands is important, but studies suggest that washing frequently and thoroughly can help keep you, and the people you come in contact with, healthier. Clean and HealthyResearchers in Denmark instructed students to wash their hands three times a day. According to the study, which was published in the American Journal of Infection Control (August 2011), the children that learned new habits significantly reduced their amount of absences due to illness. Sanitizers or Soap?A study by the American College of Preventive Medicine showed that alcohol-based hand sanitizers are less effective than soap at preventing outbreaks of norovirus in long-term care facilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using these sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol. Here is some more hand-washing advice from the CDC: When Should You Wash Your Hands?--Before, during, and after preparing food and before eating --Before and after caring for someone who is sick --Before and after treating a cut --After using the toilet or changing diapers --After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing --After touching an animal or animal waste --After touching garbage

What Is the Right Way to Wash Your Hands?

--Wet your hands with clean, running water and apply soap. --Rub your hands together to make lather, then scrub the entire hand. --Don't forget the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. --Continue for at least 20 seconds. --Rinse your hands well under running water. --Dry your hands using a clean towel or air-dry them.

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