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Health tips from MSD nurses

Each year, the first full week of December marks National Handwashing Awareness Week. Keeping hands clean is one of the best ways to protect family health. Many diseases can be prevented by washing hands with soap and water.

By teaching your children the importance of good personal hygiene and clean habits from a young age, you can help them stay protected against illnesses and keep them in school. Children tend to develop their own health habits by watching and observing older family members.

Tips for Effective Handwashing

A quick rinse under warm water isn’t enough to get your hands clean. Here are five steps to follow EVERY time you wash your hands.

  • Wet your hands with clean running water.
  • Lather the hands with soap and rub them together.
  • Scrub your hands for 20 seconds. (You can have your kids sing the ABC’s)
  • Rinse your hands with clean running water.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel.

The best times to wash your hands are before, during and after preparing food, after using the toilet, before and after caring for someone who is sick, and after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Be safe this winter. Wash your hands!