Healthy handwashing

Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of illness and disease. It is important that adults and children do it correctly. For a visual reminder of correct technique, post the hand washing poster by sinks.

The Best Way to Hand wash

  1. Use warm running water that drains.
  2. Use soap. Liquid soap is best.
  3. Rub your hands together for at least 10 seconds
    • Rub the front of your hands
    • Rub the back of your hands
    • Rub the wrists
    • Rub between your fingers
    • Rub under your fingernails
  4. Rinse well under running water with your fingertips pointed downward so the soil runs into the sink.
  5. Dry hands with a single-use towel.
  6. Turn the water off with the towel – not with your clean hands.
  7. Dispose of the towel in a trash container that is LINED with a disposable plastic bag.
  8. Use hand lotion frequently to prevent chapping. Chapped hands spread infectious disease by holding germs in cracks in the skin.
  9. Avoid jewelry, long or nail polished fingernails – all hold germs that are hard to remove.

Download the Healthy Hand washing Poster

Special Advice for Babies

IF a baby is too heavy to hold for hand washing at the sink:

  • Wipe the child’s hands with a damp single use towel moistened with a drop of soap
  • Wipe the child’s hands with a single use towel wet with clean water
  • Dry the child’s hands with a dry single use towel
  • Never use the same tissue or towel for more than one child

Everyone should wash hands at the following times:

  • Upon arrival for the day
  • In a group care setting: when moving from one child care group to another
  • Before and after:
    • Eating, handling food, or feeding a child
    • Giving medication
    • Playing in water that is used by more than one person
  • After:
    • Diapering
    • Using the toilet or helping a child use a toilet
    • Handling body fluids (mucus, blood, vomit), from sneezing,
    • wiping and blowing noses, from mouths or from sores
    • Handling uncooked food, especially raw meat and poultry
    • Handling pets and other animals
    • Playing in sandboxes
    • Cleaning or handling the garbage

Download Healthy Handwashing Poster