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Washing your hands is the best way to stop germs from spreading. Think about all of the things that you touched today - from the telephone to the toilet. Whatever you did today, you came into contact with germs. It's easy for a germ on your hand to end up in your mouth and make you sick. 

When to Wash Your Hands

  • before eating or touching food 
  • after using the bathroom
  • after blowing your nose or coughing
  • after touching pets or other animals
  • after playing outside
  • after visiting a sick relative or friend 

How to Wash Properly

  1. Wet your hands with warm running water.
  2. Add soap, then rub your hands together, making a soapy lather. Some soaps come in cool shapes and colors or smell good. Do this away from the running water for at least 15 to 20 seconds (about the time it takes to sing the ABC's). Be careful not to wash the lather away.  Wash the front and back of your hands, as well as between your fingers and under your nails where germs like to hide.
  3. Rinse your hands well under warm running water.  Let the water run back into the sink, not down to your elbows.
  4. Dry hands thoroughly with a clean towel, then turn off the water with a clean paper towel and dispose of it in a proper receptacle.
  5. Use hand sanitizer when there is no soap and water available.