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Do’s and dont’s
Hand-washing is an easy way to prevent infection. Understand when to wash your
hands, how to properly use hand sanitizer and how to get your children into the habit.
By Mayo Clinic staff
Frequent hand-washing is one of the best
ways to avoid getting sick and spreading
illness. Hand-washing requires only
soap and water or an alcohol-based hand
sanitizer - a cleanser that doesn’t require
water. Find out when and how to wash
your hands properly.
When to wash your
As you touch people, surfaces and objects
throughout the day, you accumulate germs
on your hands. In turn, you can infect
yourself with these germs by touching
your eyes, nose or mouth. Although it’s
impossible to keep your hands germ-free,
washing your hands frequently can help
limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses and
other microbes.
Always wash your hands
• Preparing food or eating
• Treating wounds, giving medicine, or
caring for a sick or injured person
• Inserting or removing contact lenses
Always wash your hands after:
• Preparing food, especially raw meat or
• Using the toilet or changing a diaper
• Touching an animal or animal toys,
leashes, or waste
• Blowing your nose, coughing or
sneezing into your hands
• Treating wounds or caring for a sick or
injured person