Handwashing Awareness Week


Handwashing Awareness Week – December 2-8, 2012

Two Rivers Public Health Department wants to remind you that hand washing is easy to do and it's one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and sickness in all settings--from your home and workplace to child care facilities and hospitals. Washing hands can help stop germs from spreading from one person to another and even throughout communities.

When you should 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; and
  • After touching garbage.

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. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do NOT eliminate all types of germs.

Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012.

For more information see: or