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Proper Hand Washing is the Best Way to Prevent Infection

Clean hands can save lives.

Infections pose a health threat for any child—especially as we head into the flu season and spend more time indoors—but they can be particularly devastating for medically-fragile children with weakened immune systems. For these kids, illness, recurring infections, and hospitalization can be life threatening.

Proper hand washing is the best defense.

It’s quick, easy, and the single most effective thing you can do to stop the spread of germs and prevent infection at home or in the hospital, in school or at work, or anywhere in the community.

It’s important to do it right.

Watch our video on proper hand washing techniques on the PHS YouTube channel.

How to wash your hands

  • Wash your hands with soap and water, scrubbing for 40 to 60 seconds (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice).
  • Get in between all the fingers and wash thoroughly around fingernails and any jewelry, all the way up to and including the wrists.
  • Rinse your hands thoroughly and dry them vigorously with a paper or clean cloth towel. Turn the water off using the towel to protect your clean hands.

Waterless cleaning with hand sanitizer

Soap and water are best, but if they aren’t available, hand sanitizers are a good second choice. Use enough of the sanitizer to thoroughly wet your hands and wrists, rub all over for 20 to 30 seconds, again including the wrists, until the sanitizer is completely dry.

Get our free PHS hand washing guide

Call PHS at 651-642-1825 and ask a customer service representative for a free hand washing guide. Keep it handy to prevent the spread of infection in your home.

Good hand washing is a simple thing, but not always practiced. Do you have any advice on how to make sure people remember to wash their hands, and do it properly? What other things do you do to stop the spread of germs at home or when you are out and about?

We’d love to hear from you.

Originally published: December 31, 2010
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