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
- Use warm running water that drains.
- Use soap. Liquid soap is best.
- 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
- Rinse well under running water with your fingertips pointed downward so the soil runs into the sink.
- Dry hands with a single-use towel.
- Turn the water off with the towel – not with your clean hands.
- Dispose of the towel in a trash container that is LINED with a disposable plastic bag.
- Use hand lotion frequently to prevent chapping. Chapped hands spread infectious disease by holding germs in cracks in the skin.
- 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
- 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