Did you know….
Dec. 2-8 is National Handwashing Awareness Week.
Clean hands save lives by stopping germs from spreading from person to person. Many diseases are spread when we don’t wash our hands with soap and water. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, petting animals or handling raw meat. Body waste from people and animals carries germs like Salmonella, Norovirus, C-difficile and E-coli that can make you very sick with diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Other germs get onto our hands by touching an object someone has sneezed or coughed on. If these are not washed off we can spread them to ourselves by touching our eyes, nose or mouth or to others by touching them. The flu and other respiratory illnesses are spread this way.
Handwashing can also help in the fight against antibiotic resistance – by reducing the spread of germs there are fewer sick people taking antibiotics.
So, the CDC says …
• 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. Be sure to 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 air dry them
Nikki Reed, RN
Disclaimer: This column is not intended as a diagnosis or recommended treatment of a specific condition. Answers are not a replacement for an individual medical evaluation. Individual health concerns should be evaluated by a licensed clinician.