Rub a dub dub

I don't know about you but it seems like EVERYONE is getting the flu! And although you might lose a couple pounds by barfing your guts out for a few days and enjoying some diarrhea as well --illness is just plain 'ol awful. 

One of the most important healthy habits to forge is keeping your hands clean to prevent the spread of infection and illness.

I clearly remember one Christmas when my daughter Kaitlyn came home with what she claimed was a tragic case of food poisoning. It wasn't until her sister caught it that we realized it was a very contagious form of the flu. Not wanting to spread it-- I was meticulous (where I'm usually pretty dang lazy) about washing everything either of them touched in scalding hot water and washing my hands (super scrubbed to the elbow!)  No one else got sick. 
Handwashing is easy to do and it's one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness in all settings—from your home and workplace to child care facilities and hospitals. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.

Photo: Washing hands with soap and water.Learn more about when and how to wash your hands.

When should you wash your hands?
  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage
  • After handling dirty laundry
  • After cleaning bathrooms or kitchen
  • Before touching your face (and especially your eyes) after shaking hands, touching railings, door knobs, or other public areas

Photo: Washihing hands.What is the right way to wash your hands?

  • Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
  • Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them. Soap and water is always best. Hand sanitizers can reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.

And so our challenge for week # 2 will be to wash your hands in ALL the situations listed above. For every day you make an extra effort in hand washing you will earn your weekly challenge points!

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