washing handsIf you grew up in a household where your mother wouldn’t let you sit at the dinner table without washing up, you’re not alone.  It’s always encouraged to wash your hands before you eat, but there are plenty of other times you should be washing your hands.

When to wash your hands

With constantly touching people, hard surfaces, and objects throughout the day, you’re collecting all of those germs on your hands.  You can easily infect yourself with these germs by touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and spread them to others. While it can be difficult to remain germ-free, practicing frequent handwashing can help limit the transfer of those pesky germs that can get you sick.

You should always wash your hands before:

  • Preparing food
  • Eating
  • Treating wounds
  • Caring for a sick person
  • Inserting or removing contact lenses

You should always wash your hands after:

  • Preparing food
  • Eating
  • Using the toilet
  • Changing a diaper
  • Handling garbage
  • Treating a wound
  • Caring for a sick person

How to Wash Your Hands

Follow these five steps to make sure your hands are squeaky clean!

  • Wet your hands under 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 running water
  • Dry your hands using a clean, dry paper towel

When to Use Hand Sanitizer as an Alternative

For times when a sink isn’t nearby, hand sanitizer is a great alternative when you’re on the go.  Using an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is a great alternative, but it should not be a replacement for regular hand-washing.  Hand sanitizers can reduce the germs on your hands that’s good for some situations, but they may not be as effective for times when your hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

Adopting the habit of frequent hand-washing can protect your from getting sick.  While hand-washing can help keep you health this cold and flu season, there’s a possibility you can get sick.  For times such as this, AFC Urgent Care West Orange provides treatment for general, acute illnesses such as colds and the flu on a walk-in basis, no appointment necessary.  If you need to be seen, call us today, or check-in online!