The Importance of Washing Your Hands This Flu Season

Why Wash Your Hands

Aside from getting the influenza vaccine, washing your hands is your first line of defense when it comes to protecting yourself and those around you from getting the flu.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the viruses responsible for getting you sick transfer easily from an infected person onto various surfaces—touching common surfaces like doors, tables, and toys is enough contact to transfer these germs onto your hands. These germs and viruses then make their way into your body once you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. These factors are what makes washing your hands imperative when it comes to staying healthy during cold and flu season.

When You Should Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands regularly can help you stop the spread germs and bacteria to help keep you healthy, especially during these key moments:

  • After using the bathroom
  • After sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose
  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before and after eating
  • Before and after caring for a wound
  • After handling an animal, animal food, or animal waste (including pets)
  • After touching garbage
  • Before and after helping a sick person
  • After changing a diaper or helping a child use the bathroom

How to Properly Wash Your Hands

Follow these 5 steps each time you wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold).
  • Lather your hands with soap, making sure you get soap on the back of your hands and between your fingers.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. To help keep track of how long you’re scrubbing, sing the “Happy Birthday” song in your head twice.
  • Rinse your hands with clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel.

Family Care in Ridgecrest, California

At Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, our team of highly trained and experienced family physicians is dedicated to providing services to patients of all ages in Ridgecrest and surrounding areas. To learn more about our primary care services or schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (760) 446-3551 (Mon-Fri 8 AM - 4:30 PM).