Fight Flu Germs, Wash Your Hands

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Reduce the spread of illness. Learn the right technique for washing hands

What is the cheapest Stendra, easiest, single best way to prevent the spread of bad germs? Wash your hands.

Handwashing is the first line of defense against the spread of infectious diseases for adults as well as for children, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Parents and child care providers can stop the spread of germs by washing their hands and by teaching children good handwashing hygiene. Effective washing takes more than just passing hands over a bar of soap and holding them under water. Rubbing hands together under warm running water is the most important part of washing away infectious germs. The object is to remove microorganisms, not to kill them.

The CDC has guidelines for how and when hands should be washed. Here they are.

  • Always use warm, running water and a mild, preferably liquid, soap. Antibacterial soaps may be used but are not required.
  • Wet the hands and apply a small amount (dime to quarter size) of liquid soap to hands.
  • Rub hands together vigorously until a soapy lather appears and continue for at least 20 seconds. Be sure to scrub between fingers, under fingernails and around the tops and palms of the hands.
  • Rinse hands under warm running water. Leave the water running while drying hands.
  • Dry hands with a clean, disposable (or single use) towel. Turn the faucet off using the towel as a barrier between your hands and the faucet handle. Remember, dirty hands turned the faucet on.
  • Adults should wash hands before eating or handling food; before feeding a child; after using the toilet; after diapering or helping a child use a toilet; after work or outdoor activities; after handling pets, animal waste or garbage; before and after taking care of a wound; or wiping a child's nose or mouth.
  • Children should be taught to wash their hands right before and after eating, after using the toilet, after playing with pets or pet toys, after playing on the playground or whenever their hands are visibly dirty.
  • For those noncompliant little ones, make handwashing a daily activity. Teach them handwashing games and even songs to help keep the germs away. Have them sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice each time they are washing their hands, so they know how long to scrub.

If soap and water are not available, the CDC suggests the use of alcohol-based gel to clean hands.