Another Season is Upon Us!

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) "Keeping hands clean is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness."

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) "Keeping hands clean is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness."

Ahhh Minnesota!  The lovely four seasons that we have offer so many pluses. We have the gorgeous springs to plant, shake out of our heavy coats, and wear shorts when it's 45 degrees because it feels so warm.  Summers that are full of sunshine and up north fun. Fall, which is so spectacular with the colors that people travel to see it from all over the globe, and winter.  Deep sigh, winter which can be so fun skiing, snowmobiling, snow-forts, and oh ya that below zero part too.  As Minnesotans we love to enjoy all of our seasons.  When the seasons are changing, sometimes so can our health.

Cold and Flu season is upon us right now.  Whether you are a believer in the flu shot or not, there is one thing that we can all do to help ourselves and those around us, wash your hands.  

So how do we do this?  What is the best method? How often?  Here is all you need to know.

When to Wash?

  • 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

Proper Washing Technique

  • 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.

Keep in mind that if soap and water are not available you can use a hand sanitizer.  The hand sanitizer should contain 60% alcohol or it is not guaranteed to be killing all types of germs.

Another great tip is to keep your hands away from your face and mouth as much as possible.  Germs are easily transmitted from your hands to mouth or eyes, so avoiding contact with or without washing can also help to eliminate the spread of cold and flu.