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Clean Hands Save Lives

posted on Friday, September 4, 2020

Though handwashing seems pretty straight forward, there's actually so much more to it! Today we want to talk about, when, how, and why we wash our hands and what to do when soap isn't available. 

When should you wash your hands? Help yourself and loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands during these specific times:

  • before and after preparing food
  • before eating or serving food
  • before and after caring for someone sick
  • before and after treating a cut
  • after using the toilet
  • after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • after touching an animal or feeding them
  • after touching garbage
  • after being in public or touching high touch surfaces
  • before touching your eyes, nose or mouth

Properly clean your hands by following these five steps. Handwashing is easily one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs, but only if it is done right. Follow these five steps every time you wash your hands:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), and apply soap
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together, on the back of the hands, between your fingers, and under your nails
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, sing "Happy Birthday" twice
  4. Rinse your hands under clean, running water
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry

Why is it so important? Many diseases are spread from germs picked up throughout the day found on your hands. The easiest way to prevent these germs from spreading is by washing your hands with soap and clean, running water. Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to objects like handrails, tables or toys, then transferred to another person's hands.

What to do when soap and water are not available. Although washing our hands with soap and water is the best way to rid germs, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. When you can't wash your hands, the CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Rub your hands together until the gel is completely dry.

At EPI we make sure everyone has access to soap and water along with providing various hand sanitizing stations as well. We work to educate the people we serve in good handwashing habits. 

Let's keep working together and we thank you for helping us keep everyone we care about safe.

Information in this blog has been provided by the CDC. You can also visit our COVID-19 Response on our website for the most up-to-date information.