Hand washing has always been the best way to keep from getting sick. But with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks, hand washing matters more than ever.
Coronavirus spreads easily. Hand washing prevents the spread of germs, including coronavirus.
When you wash your hands, you protect yourself from germs. You also protect people in your family. And with the coronavirus, when you stop the spread of germs at home, you protect people in the community too.
What's the Best Way to Wash Hands?
Here's how to scrub those germs away:
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold). Make sure the water isn't too hot.
Use soap. Lather up for about 20 seconds. Any soap works. It doesn't have to be antibacterial.
Make sure you wash between your fingers, on the backs of your hands, and under your nails where germs like to hang out. Don't forget your wrists!
before and after visiting or taking care of sick people
after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
after being outside
after handling mail or packages
What if you don't have soap and water? Waterless hand sanitizers or scrubs are good too. 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, including coronavirus (COVID-19). And 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.
Seize the power of hand washing! It's one of the best things you can do to help yourself and others.