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Handwashing prevents the spread of infection

Parents often ask what they can do to help keep their children from getting sick. One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infection is proper hand washing.

Proper hand washing technique is important

At home or work, wash your hands often and properly. Teach your children to do the same at home, at school and at daycare.

How to wash your hands

  • Use warm water
  • Wet your hands before applying soap
  • Rub your soapy hands together for at least 10 seconds
  • Rinse your hands thoroughly to remove all soap
  • Turn off water with paper towel
  • Dry your hands with an air-dryer or a clean paper towel

When to wash your hands

Hands should be washed often – more frequently than most people do. Because bacteria and other germs cannot be seen with the naked eye, they can be anywhere. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand washing is especially important when:

  • Preparing food
  • Before meals
  • After using the restroom
  • After touching animals or animal waste
  • When hands are dirty
  • When someone around you is ill
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