By California State PTA’s Health and Community Concerns Commission
The holiday season is upon us along with cold and flu season! California State PTA’s Health and Community Concerns Commission wants to remind you that December 5-11 is National Handwashing Awareness Week — so wash your hands!
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular hand washing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. Whether you are at home, at work, traveling, or out in the community, handwashing with soap and water can protect you and your family.
How to wash your hands:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
When to wash your hands:
You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before and after eating food
- Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
Do you have questions about when to wash with soap versus using hand sanitizers? Click this link to the Centers for Disease Control website for a handy guide.