Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Norman Regional Health System recognize December 4-10 as National Handwashing Awareness Week. Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can help stop germs from spreading from one person to another and in our communities—including your home, workplace, schools, and childcare facilities.
Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections. Germs can spread from person to person or from surfaces to people when you:
- Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Prepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed hands
- Touch surfaces or objects that have germs on them
- Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects
The CDC recommends you follow these five steps every time.
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or an air dryer.
The 20-second rule not only applies to washing your hands with soap and water, but also using hand sanitizer.
Use Hand Sanitizer When You Can’t Use Soap and Water
Washing 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,
- Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
- Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
- Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals like pesticides from hands.
There are other simple ways you can prevent disease including:
- The "Dracula Cough" - Cough or sneeze into the bend of your elbow.
- Avoid touching the T-zone of your face with your hands. The T-zone includes your eyes, nose and mouth.
How to Use Hand Sanitizer
- Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
- Cover all surfaces of hands.
- Rub your hands and fingers together until they are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.
Key Times to Wash Hands
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 and after eating food
- Before and after caring for someone at home 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
Norman Regional is dedicated to your health. For the latest information, visit our website's blog section to learn more about your health.