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Clean Hands Save Lives

Updated: Dec 7, 2020



National Handwashing Awareness Week is December 6-12, 2020


As the weather cools down and flu season arrives, it becomes even more important to be diligent about washing your hands in the midst of a pandemic. National Handwashing Awareness Week comes at the perfect time in 2020 to remind us to persevere and continue to pay extra attention to the simple practices that keep us from getting sick. Luckily for us, washing your hands is very effective and very easy!


Did you know that handwashing can prevent 1 in 5 respiratory infections, and 1 in 3 diarrhea-related sicknesses?


To prevent the spread of germs during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean your hands often. It's important to wash your hands before and after:

• Touching your eyes, nose or mouth

• Touching your mask

• Entering or leaving a public place

• Touching an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people such as door handles, gas pumps, shopping carts, tables, and credit card scanners.


Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way


Washing your hands is easy, and it's one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community - from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap

  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

  3. Continue scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song twice.

  4. Rinse your hands under clean, running water.

  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel, or air dry them.


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, but if that's not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can look at the product label to tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol. Sanitizers are very useful as they can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However, since sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs, it's actually better to use soap and water when you have the option.

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