Hand Hygiene: Whistle While You Wash! (Body Fact #6)

The kids are back in school. And chances are, the flu bug will be there, too. Washing your hands is simply the best, most effective, and easy way to avoid getting sick.

Here’s a basic hand hygiene primer written for the youngsters in your family. Sure, they’ve heard it all before. But, sometimes, the best advice is something you already know.
Your hands cover your mouth when you sneeze, help you go to the bathroom, and empty your cat’s litter box. There’s not much your hands don’t touch, and they can get very dirty.

Dirty hands can make you sick. Touching other people or dirty surfaces, like toilet seats and bathroom doorknobs, can pass the germs that cause colds, flu, diarrhea, and stomach aches from person to person. Once the germs are on your hands, simply touching your eyes, nose, or mouth can cause you to get sick.

Stay healthy by washing your hands after sneezing or coughing, before eating or preparing food, after using the bathroom, after cleaning up after your pet, and anytime your hands are dirty. And be sure to wash your hands more often than usual if someone around you is sick. Washing your hands is a very good habit that will keep you from getting sick. Here’s how to do it.

• Wet your hands with warm water and then lather up with soap. Soap kills germs.
• Rub your hands together and scrub all the surfaces, including your palms, wrists, between your fingers, and under your nails.
• Rub and scrub for about as long as it takes to whistle one verse of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”
• Rinse and then dry your hands on a paper towel or clean cloth.
• In public bathrooms, turn off the water using a paper towel to avoid getting germs on your clean hands.
• You can use the same towel to open the door. Door handles are great carriers of germs.
• When you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, a good alternative is to use a hand-sanitizing wipe or gel.

It sounds almost too simple to be true. But, an important part of staying healthy this flu season is to wash your hands. Try it! You won’t be sorry you did!
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