1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Avoiding the Flu

Wash Your Hands

By

Updated February 08, 2009

One of the most important thing that you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands often. Unfortunately, many people, especially kids, either do not wash their hands often enough or don't do it correctly.

When should you wash your hands?

You should wash your hands often. Probably more often than you do now because you can't see germs with the naked eye or smell them, so you do not really know where they are hiding.

It is especially important to wash your hands

  • Before, during, and after you prepare food
  • Before you eat, and after you use the bathroom
  • After handling animals or animal waste
  • When your hands are dirty, and
  • More frequently when someone in your home is sick.

What is the correct way to wash your hands?

  • First wet your hands and apply liquid or clean bar soap. Place the bar soap on a rack and allow it to drain.
  • Next rub your hands vigorously together and scrub all surfaces.
  • Continue for 10 - 15 seconds or about the length of a little tune. It is the soap combined with the scrubbing action that helps dislodge and remove germs.
  • Rinse well and dry your hands.

Related Video
Avoid and Treat Heartburn
Bird Flu 101
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Pediatrics
  4. Medical Advice
  5. Childhood Infections
  6. Kids and the Flu
  7. Wash Your Hands to Avoid the Flu

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.