Many experts explain how to wash your hands to protect against common infections like cold, flu, and other illnesses. 

Every cold and flu season, doctors always remind us that one of the best protection against the common cold, flu, and other infections is as simple as it gets: washing your hands. Washing your hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of viral infections from one person to another. Germs/Viral infections can spread one person to another person very quickly when you touch your nose, eyes, and mouth with unwashed hands.

A recent study from Michigan State University found that only 5% of 3,749 people washed their hands long enough to kill germs after using the bathroom. Even worse: 33% didn’t use soap, and 10% didn’t bother washing their hands at all.

When to wash or sanitize your hands

Washing your hands is very important, as you touch people, surfaces, and objects throughout the day, you can accumulate germs on your hands. You can infect yourself with these germs by rubbing your eyes, nose, or mouth, or transmit germs to others. Although it is impossible to keep your hands germ-free, regularly washing your hands can help limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.

Regularly wash or sanitize your hands before and after: 

  • before, during, and after you prepare food
  • Treating wounds or caring for a sick person
  • enters a hospital, doctor’s office or nursing home
  • use public transportation, especially if you touch surfaces
  • Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • have touched ATM, elevator buttons, or shake hands with others
  • touch or handle garbage
  • Handling pet food or pet treats

using the images below you can learn how to wash your hands properly

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer vs Hand soap

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which don’t require water, are an acceptable alternative when soap and water aren’t available. If you use a hand sanitizer, make sure the product contains at least 60% alcohol. Follow these steps:

  • Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand. Check the label to find out the appropriate amount.
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.

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