Five effective steps to proper hand cleaning

With the flu season in full swing, it’s more important than ever to take preventative steps in stopping the spread of cold and flu germs. 

The right way to wash hands

"The most frequent way that people come in contact with germs is through surfaces they touch, such as elevator buttons, doorknobs, shopping carts or direct interaction with other people. After contact with these objects or surfaces, it is important that we clean our hands in order to reduce the germs on our hands,” says Erin Roberts, Corporate Infection Control Professional at Covenant Health.

“Keep in mind, on average, people unconsciously touch their nose and mouth more than 3.6 times per hour. When we touch our face, there is an opportunity to introduce germs residing on our hands to our face and become infected," says Erin.

You can protect yourself and those around you from getting sick simply by washing your hands properly.

Follow these five steps to wash your hands the right way:

  1. Wet your hands with warm water and apply liquid soap.
  2. Lather all surfaces of your hands: back and front, between fingers and under nails.
  3. Continue to rub the back of your hands and wrists for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse under running water.
  5. Dry your hands thoroughly and use paper towel to turn off the taps.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a great alternative for keeping your hands clean if you have no access to soap and water.

If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a good alternative.

Follow these simple steps when using alcohol-based hand rub:

  1. Make sure you have enough to cover all surfaces of your hands.
  2. Rub all the surfaces of your hands and wrists for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Include fingertips and thumbs.
  4. Rub until your hands are completely dry.

Hand hygiene is the single most effective way to stop the spread of germs. 

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