Why make such a fuss over washing your hands? Because hand-washing is a pretty big deal! Here in the U.S., we might take soap and water for granted, but it is one of the most important things a person can do to stay healthy. In fact, a study of students in Detroit showed that people who wash their hands properly reported 24 percent fewer colds and 51 percent fewer stomach illnesses.
|Image: "Wash Your Hands" poster in 24 languages,|
courtesy Minnesota Department of Public Health
So how do you wash your hands the right way? Take five:
- Use clean, warm water.
- Lather up with soap.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds — long enough to say the alphabet, or sing the “happy birthday” song twice.
- Rinse your hands with clean water.
- Dry your hands.
That’s it! If you start practicing healthy hand habits today, each and every time you wash your hands, you’re already on your way to a healthier you.
For more information about hand-washing, and for tips on talking to kids, teens and adults about the best way to wash their hands, check out our free fact sheets!