by Lacy Wolff
Flu season is just around the corner. One of the most effective ways to avoid the flu—besides getting a flu shot—is to wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day.
Global Handwashing Day
supports building a worldwide handwashing habit by providing resources and tools to create awareness.
Handwashing is extremely important when it comes to helping children avoid the flu and other illnesses, like diarrhea. When children get diarrhea, they often eat less food, and have a reduced ability to absorb and benefit from nutrients in the food they do eat. Good handwashing with soap can prevent nearly half of all cases of childhood diarrhea.
With all the evidence that supports good handwashing, it may be surprising to learn that many of us just don’t wash our hands well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends that you wash your hands in a specific way
, which includes scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds (hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice as you scrub).
Use sanitizers only when soap and water aren’t available, the CDC recommends
Washing hands with soap and water is the preferred method, but if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
For more information:
Lacy Wolff is the health promotion administrator for the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP).
- Apply the product to the palm of one hand.
- Rub your hands together.
- Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.