Washing your hands frequently is one of the most effective ways to stay healthy, kill germs lingering on your hands and prevent the spread of COVID-19. You should make sure you are washing your hands after handling food, most surfaces, communal objects and touching other people throughout the day, especially before touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
How you should be washing your hands
Germs are present on nearly everything, from your computer keyboard to car door to stair railing. By washing your hands frequently throughout the day, you will be able to reduce the amount of germs lingering on your hands which can then quickly spread to your eyes, nose, and mouth. To make sure you effectively kill germs, make sure you do the following:
- Use warm to hot running water to rinse your hands
- Use antibacterial soap to lather your hands, especially the backs, under your fingernails and between your fingers where germs can stay and spread
- Scrub for at least 20 seconds before bringing your hands under running water to rinse again
- Dry off using a clean, dry towel
When should hand sanitizer be used?
Sometimes you won’t be near a sink or unable to wash your hands. During these times, you should use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content to kill germs on the surface of your hands. Using hand sanitizer should not be used as an alternative to washing your hands in all scenarios due to its limitations: while it can kill germs, hand sanitizer is unable to breakdown dirt, ink, grease and buildup that may be present on your hands.
How often should I be washing my hands?
You should be washing your hands frequently throughout the day, especially:
- After using public transportation or using a public stair railing
- Before and after preparing food, and during to prevent germs from cross-contaminating
- Before eating
- Before and after providing treatment for a person who is ill
- Before and after treating cuts and other wounds
- After handling garbage
- After using the toilet
- After handling or changing a dirty diaper
- After touching an animal or picking up its waste
- After blowing your nose
- Before and after removing and changing your contact lenses
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and with cold and flu season quickly approaching, washing your hands has become more important than ever. In addition to practicing social distancing and wearing a mask in public areas, washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to prevent getting sick and contracting a virus. Make sure you teach your children how to wash their hands correctly in order to keep your home healthy this fall!
COVID-19 Testing & General Illness Treatment in Malden, MA
If you or a member of your family fall ill, visit AFC Urgent Care Malden for diagnosis and treatment. Our center is open seven days a week, currently by appointment only. Telemedicine screenings are also available. If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have in the past, both diagnostic swab and antibody testing are available by appointment only after a telemedicine screening. For information on treatment or to schedule an appointment, please call 781-322-7300.