washing hands with soapFrequent hand-washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading germs.  As you touch people, hard surfaces, and objects throughout the day, you accumulate germs on your hands that can get you sick when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth.  

How to Properly Wash Your Hands

It’s nearly impossible to keep your hands germ-free all day, but practicing frequent handwashing can limit the transfer of bacteria and viruses.  Here are five steps to follow to ensure your hands are getting squeaky clean!

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water
  • Lather your hands with soap, focusing on the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and underneath your fingernails
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Rinse your hands under the running water
  • Dry your hands using a clean, dry paper towel

Use Hand Sanitizer Only When Soap Isn’t Available

There will be times when you’re on the go and a sink isn’t nearby.  Using alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is a great alternative, but is not a replacement for good, old fashioned hand-washing.  Hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on your hands for some situations, but they may not be as effective for times when your hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

When to Wash Your Hands

Despite hand sanitizer being an alternative, proper hand washing is still the best way to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses.  You should always wash your hands:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after treating wounds
  • Before and after caring for a sick person
  • Before inserting and after removing contact lenses
  • Before and after using the toilet or changing a diaper
  • After touching an animal, animal feed or waste
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After handling garbage

Adopting the habit of frequent hand-washing can play a major role in protecting your health.  While handwashing helps in keeping you healthy during cold and flu season, you might get sick.  For times such as this, AFC Urgent Care South Plainfield provides treatment for general, acute illnesses such as colds and the flu on a walk-in basis, so you don’t need an appointment to be seen.  If you need to be seen, call us today, or check-in online!