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Offered by: Kelly Fausey, CPNP. – Brighton Pediatrics, P.C.

Hand washing is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of illnesses and keep your family healthy. Here are several simple steps to remember. Wet your hands with warm water, lather with soap, scrub your hands, rinse with warm water and dry your hands. ( The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has an easy phrase to remember when washing your hands: wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry for at least 20 seconds. When washing your hands with soap and water, it is important to rub the back of your hands, in between your fingers and under your nails in helping to remove all the germs and bacteria. It is recommended to sing the happy birthday song twice while washing your hands in order to get the full 20 seconds of hand washing.

Removing germs and bacteria by washing your hands reduces the spread of diarrhea and respiratory illness with your family and your community. It is good to wash your hands before and after preparing food and before eating. Also wash hands after blowing your nose or sneezing, going to the bathroom, touching all surfaces and touching garbage. It is also good to remember to wash your hands after petting animals, giving an animal a treat or feeding an animal. Hand sanitizer can be used as an alternative to handwashing, but it is not recommended for visibly dirty hands. Handwashing is the most effective way of removing germs and bacteria from your hands and reducing the spread of illnesses in your community.

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