December has many health awareness initiatives, including National Handwashing Awareness Week. Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent yourself and your family from getting sick. It is important to wash your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to be in contact with germs:
Before, during, and after handling food
Before and after caring for someone who is sick
After using the toilet
After changing diapers
After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
After touching an animal, their food or waste
After touching garbage
Washing your hands is easy and one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Experts recommend washing your hands with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds. It’s important to get a good lather going and clean the back of the hands, between the fingers and under the nails. Dry them using a clean towel or air dry them.
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations, but if it is not readily available, you can use an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Make sure the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol. It is important to note a few things when deciding to use hand sanitizer.
Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs
Sanitizers are not as effective if hands are visibly dirty or greasy
Sanitizers may not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals
At ExpressDocs, we teach our employees best practices surrounding handwashing and other practices that affect public health — during National Handwashing Awareness Week and at every other possible opportunity.