• Dr. Raisa Lerner

Handwashing Awareness Week

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Washing your hands with soap and water is 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% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.

Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However, they do not get rid of all types of germs. Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy, and they might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

Before, during and after preparing food

Before eating food

Before and after caring for someone who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea

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

Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to others. Handwashing can help prevent and reduce the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illness.  It’s quick, it’s simple and it can keep us all from getting sick. Handwashing is a win for everyone, except the germs.

Reference: CDC

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