Wash Your Hand the Right Way to Help Your Family Stay Safe

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When you should wash your hands

You should wash your hands before and after you eat or cook; play with or feed pets; cough, sneeze, or blow your nose; change a diaper; use the bathroom; dress a wound; handle garbage; interact with bodily fluids of any kind; or when they look dirty.

Proper Handwashing Techniques


Step Reason
STEP 1: Wet your hands using clean, running water when available. STEP 2: Lather the front and back of hands, between fingers, and under fingernails with Safeguard™ soap. STEP 3: Scrub hands together for at least 20 seconds. STEP 4: Rinse hands under clean, running water.STEP 5: Dry hands completely with a clean towel, or air dry.
Germs can collect in standing water. Friction helps lift dirt, grease, and microbes from skin. More germs are removed the longer you scrub. If your kids get impatient, teach them to recite the ABCs twice to reach the 20-second mark. Dirt, grease, and microbes—including infectious disease-causing germs—are carried away from skin, which can help minimize skin irritation. Germs can be transferred more easily between wet hands.


When to use hand sanitizer

When soap and clean, running water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer quickly reduces the number of microbes on hands in some situations, but does not eliminate all types of germs.To use, simply apply the product to the palm of one hand, and rub your hands together, spreading the sanitizer to all the surfaces of your hands, until they're dry.

A healthy habit to share

Teaching your children the importance of hand washing—when, why, and how—can help prevent the spread of germs in your home, and help keep children safe from germs when they’re not with you. Share these proper hand washing techniques with them to help, learn when and how they should wash their hands.

1 http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html