Clinica Sierra Vista WIC

Flu Begone With Proper Hand Washing Skills



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As parents, you spend hours keeping your kids’ environment safe and healthy; however, one of the dirtiest, most germ-infested places for them is a part of their body – their hands.  Proper and frequent hand washing can help your family stay healthier this flu season, and may even prevent the illness altogether.  

“Washing your hands is the focus of the 2nd ‘C’ in the 3 Cs of Flu-Like Illness Prevention!” says Dr. Claudia Jonah, Health Officer at Kern County Department of Public Health Services.  “‘Flu Fighting’ takes the ‘three Cs:’ 1) Cover your cough 2) Clean your hands; and, 3) Confine yourself when ill.”

“Hands contaminated with flu virus easily causes infection when touching the eyes, nose and mouth,” says Jonah.  “Always wash your hands prior to and following touching your own or others’ eyes, nose, and mouth.”    

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 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. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.

Jonah says you should wash your hands often:  

1. Wash your hands before and after eating.

2. Wash your hands before and after feeding children and others.

3. Wash your hands after coughing the “wrong way” into your hands instead of into your elbow, shirt or tissue.

4. Wash your hands before and after assisting children and others in cleaning their eyes, nose or mouth.

5. Wash your hands prior to food preparation.

The CDC recommends these tips to ensure proper hand washing habits:  

1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.

2. Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

3. Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

4. Rinse your hands well under running water.

5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

For more information about the importance of hand washing and proper techniques, please visit, www.cdc.gov/handwashing/. By Vaun Thygerson

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