Monday, December 7, 2009

Wash your hands to prevent illness

One of the most vital steps you can take to prevent the spread of disease and illness is at your fingertips...literally.

This week is National Hand Washing Awareness Week, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection.

"You should wash your hands many times throughout the day, such as before and after preparing food, after coughing or sneezing, and before and after touching your eyes or mouth," said Amanda Jillson, assistant director of fitness and instructional programs at TRAC.

There are some proper steps to take when hand-washing to ensure that you remove the germs. First, wet your hands and apply soap. Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds and be sure to get in between your fingers and underneath nails if possible.

"Twenty seconds is about the same time as singing Happy Birthday two times through, or this time of year, you can sing Jingle Bells," Jillson said. "Then rinse for about 10 seconds to rinse off all the dirt and germs."

Dry your hands by using a paper towel, and if you're not using an automatic faucet, be sure to use the paper towel to then turn off the faucet, Jillson said.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also great way to kill germs and reduce the spread of infection, Jillson said.

"We actually have locations all throughout campus. They're automatic so you put your hands underneath, and it will dispense the proper amount," she said. "Then rub your hands briskly together until completely dry."


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