Points of PRIDE: Hand washing
Mom was right! Wash your hands.
Turns out our mothers were right: washing your hands after using the bathroom is the best thing you can do to keep from getting sick. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one out of three people do not wash their hands after using the bathroom. This lapse in basic hygiene practices can have very serious consequences. In addition to colds and flu, proper hand washing can help to prevent salmonellas, shigellosis, Hepatitis A, meningitis, streptococcus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and many other illnesses.
In addition to protecting your own health, hand washing also protects your child's health, plus you're modeling important hygiene practices for your child. Keep your family healthy through the winter by following the recommendations below.
Wash your hands frequently
Anyone who interacts with young children should wash his or her hands many times during the day. Consider washing at these times:
- Whenever hands become soiled
- Before and after handling food
- Before and after eating and drinking
- Before and after giving medicine
- After using the bathroom
- After helping your child in the bathroom or changing soiled clothes or diapers
- After blowing or wiping your nose or assisting your child with blowing or wiping his or her nose
- Immediately after any contact with blood, bodily fluids, or any other potentially infectious material
- After coming indoors from outdoor play
- Before and after playing with shared toys
- Before and after handling pets
Effective hand-washing practices
- Remove jewelry and watches. Soil is easily trapped around and under rings, bracelets, etc.
- Take your time. Vigorous washing under running water for at least 15 seconds is recommended.
- Soap and scrubbing action combined are the best defense against germs.
- Alcohol sanitizers and antibacterial gels are not a substitute for thorough hand washing and should be used only as a temporary measure when hand washing is unavailable.