Dos and Don’ts of Handwashing

There's a right and wrong way to wash hands properly.

Handwashing seems simple, but there are some dos and don'ts to doing it properly. In honor of National Handwashing Awareness Week, here's how to do it right.

Do wash well and often. Instances when you should wash your hands include:

  • prior to, during and after preparing food
  • before eating
  • prior to and after being near someone who is sick
  • after using the bathroom or changing a child's diaper
  • after coughing, sneezing or wiping your nose
  • before and after an occasion where you're shaking hands with a group of people

Do wash thoroughly. Use running water and soap. Lather and scrub the fronts and backs of hands, in between fingers and under fingernails.

Don't skimp on time. Wash for at least 20 seconds before you rinse under running water. Count or keep a kitchen timer by the sink if it helps you or your kids know how long is long enough.

Do pay attention to how you dry. Be sure to either air dry your hands or dry them with a clean paper or cloth towel.

Don't assume that using a hand sanitizer does the same job as washing hands properly. If you're in a situation where you're not able to wash your hands with soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that's comprised of at least 60 percent alcohol to help cleanse your hands. However, such a product will not eliminate all germs.

For more information on the importance of handwashing, visit us online. If you would like a physician referral or assistance with scheduling an appointment, please call us at 1-855-296-6265.

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