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Posted on: September 27, 2017

Why Should I Wash My Hands?

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Our friends at the St. Louis County Department of Public Health worked diligently for six months last year to create an effective handwashing campaign for distribution to their community. They were kind enough to share their graphics with us.

Handwashing with soap works by removing bacteria and viruses from hands before they get a chance to cause infections or spread to other people. Many infections start when hands are contaminated with disease-causing bacteria and viruses. This can happen after using the toilet, changing a child’s diaper, coughing, sneezing, touching other people’s hands, and touching other contaminated surfaces.

 To wash your hands properly, follow these steps:

  • Wet hands
  • Cover wet hands with soap
  • Scrub all surfaces, including palms, back of the hands, between the fingers, and under the fingernails for about 20 seconds
  • Rinse well with running water
  • Dry on a clean cloth or by waving in the air

An easy way to gauge 20 seconds is to use a familiar song that lasts for 20 seconds. One such example is “Happy Birthday,” which, when sung twice, is about 20 seconds long.

Global Handwashing Day is on October 15. Consider using the day to make sure your family and friends know the importance of handwashing with soap, and why it's important to make proper handwashing a habit that is practiced throughout the year.

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