Guard Against Germs Over The Holidays

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Handwashing can help prevent illness. It involves five simple and effective steps (Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry) you can take to reduce the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illness so you can stay healthy. Bond County Home Health and Hospice would like to remind everyone during this holiday season regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it can keep us all from getting sick. Handwashing is a win for everyone, except the germs.

During the holidays everyone wants to spread cheer, but not germs. 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. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.

When should you wash your hands?

Before, during, and after preparing food and before eating food

Before and after caring for someone who is sick

Before and after treating a cut or wound

After using the toilet, 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 touching garbage

Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. Then, rinse your hands well under clean, running water. Lastly, dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Although, washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them in most situations. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and might not remove harmful chemicals. Hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

Remember as you go over the river and through the woods you are practicing good handwashing so that you can spread good cheer, not germs.

For more information regarding home health and hospice, call Bond County Health Department at 618-664-1455.

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