Handwashing with soap and water is one of the most important ways to avoid catching and spreading germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that many diseases are spread by not cleaning hands properly after touching contaminated objects or surfaces. That’s why it is critical to wash hands at crisis events and natural disasters, such as after a flood or during a flu pandemic.
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to kill germs. However, during a disaster, running water may not be available so the best bet is an alcohol-based (at least 60 percent) hand sanitizer.
According to the CDC, these are they three key reasons for proper handwashing.
• Handwashing can keep children healthy and in school.
• Handwashing can help prevent illness. In addition to getting a flu vaccine, the CDC recommends frequent handwashing with soap and water.
• Handwashing is a simple, practical skill that is easily learned. It takes around 20 seconds and involves five simple steps:
– Wet hands with clean, running water
– Lather hands by rubbing them together with the soap
– Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds
– Rinse hands well under clean, running water
– Dry hands using a clean towel or air-dry them
Watch a CDC expert give a handwashing demonstration on how to properly wash hands with soap and water here.