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When Should You Wash Your Hands

We are constantly being told that washing our hands is an important part of personal hygiene. Most of us know that hand washing is very important to minimize the chance of passing germs around and getting sick. Let’s find out the most important times to wash your hands.

When is it Important to Wash Your Hands?

  • Before you eat or cook any food.
  • After handling meat or fish.
  • After using the toilet.
  • After cleaning the house.
  • After touching any animals, including your family pets. Animals carry lots of germs!
  • Before and after you take care of anyone who is sick.
  • After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing.
  • After playing outside.
  • After gardening.
  • After changing a diaper.
  • After taking the trash out.

How to Wash Your Hands Correctly

1. Use soap! Lather the soap into your hands and under your fingernails for about 15-25 seconds. Note that the soap does not have to be anti-bacterial.
2. Wash those hands in warm (but not hot) water for 10-15 seconds.
3. Rub your hands together to remove dirt and germs.
4. Dry your hands very well with a clean towel.

Statistics on the Importance of Hand Washing

  • Pneumonia, the leading cause of death in children, is cut by 25% when people wash their hands effectively.
  • Diarrhea, the second leading cause of death in children, is cut by up to 50% when people wash their hands properly.
  • Surveys have shown that most people do not wash their hands with soap. It is very important you use soap and to then rub your hands together vigorously to remove the germs.
  • Only 50% of men wash their hands after using the toilet, where many germs are picked up and spread!
  • Studies have shown that, to prevent disease, you need to wash your hands 10 times a day.

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