Avoid the Flu: How to Properly Wash Your Hands

Michele Zipp
Healthy Living
4

We're all worried about the flu...and the first line of defense is properly washing your hands. There is a right way and a wrong way to wash your hands...considering you are washing your hands to remove germs and dirt.

A lot of people are not doing it right. According to a study by Tork, only 16 percent are doing it correctly. My husband is not one of them. He is quick at the sink and then he never dries his hands fully. He has this funny habit of running them through his hair after like his hair finishes the drying job. But really, after reading the how to, I need to be better as well.

I got the scoop on the best ways to wash your hands and protect yourself and your family from the flu.

The best way to wash and dry your hands:

  • Wet hands with clean warm water.
  • Apply soap.
  • Rub hands together vigorously and scrub all surfaces for 20 seconds. Remember to wash both of your thumbs as thumbs are quite often skipped in the handwashing process. Want something easy to remember? Sing Happy Birthday twice and you've taken the right amount of time to do the job.
  • Make sure to wash under nails, watches, and jewelry since millions of germs gather there.
  • Rinse with clean water.
  • Dry hands with a single-use paper towel until they are completely dry. Damp hands spread 1,000 times more germs.
  • Use the paper towel to avoid contact with frequently touched surfaces while leaving the washroom in public places, such as the faucet and door handles.
  • Since hands are to be washed frequently, use mild and gentle soaps.

After washing and drying your hands:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact such as shaking hands and kissing people on the cheek. Especially with people who are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze against your sleeve or in a paper tissue that you throw in a waste basket.        

 

When should you wash your hands?

  • After arriving at work.
  • Before meals or eating any food.
  • After visiting the restroom.
  • After sneezing.
  • Before preparing food.
  • Before and after visiting a sick person.
  • After arriving home.
  • When hands are visibly dirty. 

Did you learn something? I sure did! Good advice to prevent the flu.

 

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