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Safety: Washing the hands

With flu season at its peak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest avoid contact with sick people; while sick, limit contact with others and stay home if possible; cover mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing; and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. According to the CDC another essential part of preventing the spread of the flu virus is properly washing and sanitizing hands regularly. To wash your hands, wet your hands with clean running water and apply antibacterial soap. Rub hands together to lather and scrub well; making sure to clean the backs of your hands and underneath the fingernails as well. Continue rubbing hands for approximately 20 seconds. Rinse, and dry your hands using a clean towel or by air drying. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Grace L. Waladkewics/Released)

With flu season at its peak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest avoid contact with sick people; while sick, limit contact with others and stay home if possible; cover mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing; and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. According to the CDC another essential part of preventing the spread of the flu virus is properly washing and sanitizing hands regularly. To wash your hands, wet your hands with clean running water and apply antibacterial soap. Rub hands together to lather and scrub well; making sure to clean the backs of your hands and underneath the fingernails as well. Continue rubbing hands for approximately 20 seconds. Rinse, and dry your hands using a clean towel or by air drying. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Grace L. Waladkewics/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

With all the excitement of returning to school this time of year, take time to remind your children how important handwashing is.

Please review the Center for Disease Control Prevention guidelines for handwashing.

Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean running water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol to clean hands.

When should you wash your hands?

  • Before, during, and after preparing food.

  • Before eating food.

  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick.

  • Before and after treating a cut or wound.

  • After using the toilet.

  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet.

  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste.

  • After handling pet food or pet treats.

  • After touching garbage.

How should you wash your hands?

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap and apply soap.

  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.

  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

  •  Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

How do you use hand sanitizers?

  • Apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).

  • Rub your hands together.

  • Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.

Swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning. Keep it out of reach of young children.