Hand Washing – frequent hand washing with soap and warm water is one of the most effective means of preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Hand contact is a primary method of transmitting bacterial and viral infections. Hand washing kills or removes most pathogenic agents. To wash the hands:
- Turn on tap to dispense water that is warm but not too hot to hold the hands under its flow.
- Get hands wet.
- Apply soap, preferably liquid soap from a dispenser.
- Work the soap into a lather that covers all surfaces of the hands, taking a full minute.
- Rinse hands under running water.
- If it is not possible to turn off the water without touching the faucet handles, leave the water temporarily running.
- Dry hands thoroughly using disposable towels or a heated air dispenser.
- Use a paper towel to cover the faucet handle, then turn off the water.
|When to Wash the Hands|
|after changing a diaper||after cleaning dirty dishes|
|after handling raw meat or poultry||after holding an infant|
|after petting or handling animals||after sneezing or coughing into the hand|
|after sneezing, coughing, or BLOWING THE NOSE||after using the bathroom|
|before eating||before holding an infant|
|before preparing food||before serving food|
It is particularly important to wash the hands after going to the bathroom. Fecal-to-oral transmission spreads many gastrointestinal infections. Some studies suggest that many people wash their hands only when they believe someone is observing them. Though hand washing sounds like a simple solution to a complex problem, health experts project it could significantly reduce infectious diseases.