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Clean Hands Save Lives!
  • Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.
  • It is best to wash your hands with soap and clean running water for 20 seconds.
  • If soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based product to clean your hands.
  • Alcohol-based hand rubs significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and are fast acting.

When washing hands with soap and water:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
  • Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
  • Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" twice through to a friend!
  • Rinse hands well under running water
  • Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet
Remember: If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based gel to clean hands.

Boy washing handsWhen using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:

  • Apply product to the palm of one hand
  • Rub hands together
  • Rub the product over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry.
When should you wash your hands?
  • Before preparing or eating food
  • After going to the bathroom
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has gone to the bathroom
  • Before and after tending to someone who is sick
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After handling an animal or animal waste
  • After handling garbage
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound

Return to Environmental Health Home Page

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  This page was updated on 2009-07-20 14:22:16.843.

 

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