Hand Washing Tips to Prevent a Cold or Flu

This is the time of year when bad colds and the flu virus seem unavoidable. However, washing your hands properly and throughout the day could potentially help prevent the spread of germs. In fact, washing your hands the “right way” could be the best way to prevent yourself and others in your family from getting sick.

When should I wash my hands?

  • After using the restroom.
  • Before preparing and cooking meals.
  • After handling cat/dog food or treats.
  • After taking the garbage out.
  • Before and after you take care of a cut or wound.
  • After you blow your nose or sneeze.
  • After you cough, even if it is into the crook of your arm.
  • Before and after caring for someone who isn’t feeling well.
  • Before you eat.
  • Before and after handling a child’s diaper. 
What is the most effective way to wash my hands?
  1. Rinse your hands with warm or cold water and shut the faucet off.
  2. Add soap to your hands and rub them together for twenty seconds or more. Be sure to lather the soap on all areas of your hand, including the backs and between fingers.
  3. Rinse your hands under warm or cold water until all soap is gone.
  4. Dry your hands off completely with a clean towel or use an air dryer.
  5. Use a tissue on the handle of the door to open it when exiting the restroom. 

Be sure to wash your hands properly and often this season to prevent a nasty cold or flu bug for yourself and family.

Get more hand washing tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.