Personal hygiene begins and ends with our hands. Clean hands prevent sickness. National Handwashing Awareness Week reminds us to be vigilant about handwashing, especially during these winter months when you are likely to get and spread germs.

Remember to wash your hands:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After using the toilet
  • After touching an animal
  • After touching garbage

There are seven steps to washing your hands properly:

  • Wet your hands and apply enough soap (coin size)
  • Rub your palms together
  • Rub the back of each hand
  • Rub both your hands while interlocking your fingers
  • Rub the tips of your fingers
  • Rub your thumbs and the ends of your wrists
  • Rinse both hands properly with water and dry with a clean towel

The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds. Handwashing has a big impact in ensuring you and those around you stay healthy.