Handwashing Hints for the Whole Family

The simple act of washing your hands can be a big help in staying healthy for you and your family.

You want to keep your family healthy, but how? Making sure they wash their hands properly is a simple step that can be a big help. In honor of National Handwashing Awareness Week, we share these handwashing hints for the whole family:

Know when to wash your hands. You want to wash your hands more often than just when they appear dirty.

  • wash well and often, including before, during and after making something to eat
  • wash before and after being near someone who is sick
  • wash after using the bathroom or changing a diaper
  • wash after you cough, sneeze or wipe your nose
  • wash after touching a pet or other animal
  • wash after handling pet food or snacks
  • wash after touching trash.

Know how to wash your hands. Use clean, running water and soap. Lather the fronts and backs of hands, as well as in between fingers and under fingernails. Scrub for at least 20 seconds (count, recite the alphabet or set a timer by the sink for the kids). Rinse under clean, running water and dry hands using a clean hand or disposable paper towel.

Know what to do if you can’t wash your hands the way you’d like. Don’t have clean, running water or soap handy? Cleaning hands with hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol is a better-than-nothing substitute. It will get rid of some germs, though not all.

If the germs get the upper hand and you need to see a doctor, call our toll-free Physician Referral Line at 1-855-665-8627. You can also check out our online health library for more information.

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Back-to-School Health Tips
Flu vs. Cold: What’s the Difference?

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