Hand Hygiene – Whistle while you wash! (Body Fact #6)

The children returned to school. And chances are the flu virus is there too. Hand washing is simply the best, most effective and easiest way to avoid getting sick.

Here’s a basic hand hygiene primer written just for the youngsters in your family. Sure, they’ve heard it all before. But sometimes the best advice is something you already know.

Your hands cover your mouth when you sneeze, help you go to the bathroom and empty your cat’s litter box. There isn’t much that your hands won’t touch, and they can get very dirty.

Dirty hands can make you sick. Touching other people or dirty surfaces, like toilet seats and bathroom doorknobs, can spread the germs that cause colds, flu, diarrhea, and stomach aches from one person to another. Once the germs are on your hands, simply touching your eyes, nose, or mouth can make you sick.

Stay healthy by washing your hands after sneezing or coughing, before eating or preparing food, after using the bathroom, after cleaning up after your pet, and anytime your hands are dirty. And be sure to wash your hands more often than usual if someone around you is sick. Washing your hands is a very good habit that will keep you from getting sick. Here is how to do it.

o Wet hands with warm water, then lather. Soap kills germs.

o Rub your hands together and scrub all surfaces, including the palms of your hands, wrists, between your fingers, and under your fingernails.

o Rub and scrub as long as it takes to whistle a verse of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

o Rinse, and then dry your hands with a clean paper towel or cloth.

o In public restrooms, turn off the water with a paper towel to prevent germs from coming in contact with your clean hands.

o You can use the same towel to open the door. Door handles are great carriers for germs.

o When you cannot wash your hands with soap and water, a good alternative is to use a hand sanitizing wipe or gel.

It sounds almost too simple to be true. But an important part of staying healthy this flu season is washing your hands. Try it! You won’t regret doing it!

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