Washing your hands is the most simple, most effective, thing you can do to reduce the spread of colds, flu, diarrhea, and sometimes even serious life-threatening diseases.
Every day you pick up
germs from other people, from things you touch and from animals, even your own pets. Then when you touch your nose or mouth, or rub your eyes, those germs can get inside your body. That is one of the most common ways people catch colds and flu. Washing your hands washes the germs away.
Besides colds, there are some very serious
diseases you can catch the same way, like hepatites, meningitis and diarrhea.
Even when your hands don't look dirty, they can be covered with pathogens, so wash them often. It is especially important to wash up:
Handwashing does not kill microbes, it just flushes them away. So be sure to do a good job of washing, and rinse well.
- Before you eat, and after you use the bathroom
- Before, during, and after you prepare food
- After handling animals or animal waste
- When your hands are dirty
- More frequently when someone in your home is sick
The best way to wash your hands is:
If you want to learn little kids to wash their hands, than you can print out a personal Washing Chart for them.
- Wet them first, then soap them up.
- Rub the suds all over, between fingers and under fingernails, for about 15 seconds. This is important!
- Rinse all the soap off
- Dry your hands on a clean(!!) towel.
Learn more about clean hands at these pages: