before and after visiting or taking care of sick people
after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
after being outside
What if you don't have soap and water? Waterless hand sanitizers, soaps, or scrubs
are a good alternative. They come as liquids, wipes, sprays, or towelettes. You can
buy travel sizes to keep in your book bag, car, locker, purse, or sports bag.
How Do Clean Hands Help Health?
Good hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of illnesses.
It helps protect you against everything from the common
cold to more serious infections, such as meningitis,
bronchiolitis, the flu,
hepatitis A, and
many types of diarrhea.
How Do Germs Spread?
Germs spread in lots of ways. For example:
touching dirty hands
changing dirty diapers
through contaminated water and food
through droplets in the air released during a cough or sneeze
on contaminated surfaces
through contact with a sick person's body fluids
When you come into contact with germs, you can become infected just by touching
your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Don't forget the power of hand washing! The time you spend at the sink could save
you trips to the doctor's office.