National Handwashing Awareness Week! Clean Hands Save Lives

This week is National Handwashing Awareness Week (Dec 7-13). With widespread flu impacting Louisiana, it is especially important to follow proper handwashing techniques in order to limit the spread of the virus.

When to Wash

You know to wash your hands before eating or after using the bathroom, but there are plenty of other times during the day when washing up is key:

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

How to Wash

Be sure to always use soap – rather than just water alone – when washing hands. Lathering your hands with soap and water will lift soil and germs from the skin and it encourages a more thorough scrub than water alone. It is important to scrub for about 20 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday” twice) so you can cleanse all surfaces, including your wrists, backs of hands, under your fingernails, and between your fingers. To finish up, rinse your hands well under running water, and dry using a clean towel.

The Back-Up Plan

Soap and water are the gold standard for handwashing, but alcohol-based sanitizers can also work to reduce the number of germs on your hands. Look for a formula that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, and be sure to use enough to adequately sanitize. If your hands are heavily soiled or greasy, hand sanitizer may not be as effective, and you should aim to wash your hands with soap and water as soon as possible.

If you do get sick, MHM Urgent Care is here to help. Find the location nearest you for quality health care when you need it most.