CDC: Handwashing can save lives during outbreaks


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Centers for Disease Control website guide on handwashing said its the best practice in protecting yourself and your family from getting sick.

The guide, titled “Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives“, said the best times to wash hands are the following:

  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • 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

Five ways to wash your hands the right way

  • 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 soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice – that’s 20 seconds
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them

Use hand sanitizer when you can’t use soap and water

  • Washing hands with soap and water are the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. if soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-percent alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60-percent alcohol by looking at the product label.
  • Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations but: 1. Does not get rid of all germs. 2. Hand sanitizers may not be as effective as when hands are visibly dirty or greasy. 3. Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from ahdns like pesticides and heavy metals.
  • How to use hand sanitizer: 1. Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand. 2. Rub your hands together. 3. Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take about 20 seconds.
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