According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout a community – from your home and workplace, to childcare facilities and hospitals. Keep yourself and your loved ones healthy by washing your hands often, especially when doing any of the following activities:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up after 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
Follow these five steps to wash your hands the right way!
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Sing the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end, twice. Sick of “Happy Birthday”? I’ve switched to the Golden Girls Theme song recently for a change of pace! There’s lots of songs out there – feel free to switch it up!
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean paper towel.
Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. While hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on your hands, they do not get rid of all types of germs. Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty.
When using hand sanitizer, follow these steps.
- Apply to the palm of one hand.
- Rub your hands together.
- Rub over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.
For some fun, I have brought out all the different soaps in my house and put them in the bathroom and kitchen so that I have a “soap buffet” to choose from when washing my hands. I have my Halloween pumpkin soap, my holiday cookie soap, my moisturizing soap, and a few others so I can switch it up every time I wash!
I’m also conscious of keeping my joystick clean too! Be sure to wipe down your joystick to help keep the germs away. I use a disposable disinfecting wipe for my joystick and other parts of my chair that I touch frequently. Give it a try! Just don’t get your joystick wet! A damp disinfecting wipe is okay, but a very wet cloth could cause damage, so use care.
Let’s all work together to practice proper hand-washing techniques and keep our joysticks clean too!
About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.