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Keeping Your Hands Germ-Free During Cold & Flu Season

Keeping Your Hands Germ-Free During Cold & Flu Season

As we enter the height of cold and flu season in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to remain vigilant and do your part to stop the spread of illness-causing viruses. Learn more about how you can keep you and your loved ones healthy this winter with these tips.

How Germs Spread

When it comes to respiratory illnesses like the flu, the cold, and COVID-19—washing your hands can help to prevent the spread of the germs that cause them. Typically, germs are able to move from surfaces and into your body in the following ways:

  • When you touch your eyes, mouth, or nose with dirty hands.
  • When you prepare food with unwashed hands
  • When you eat with unwashed hands
  • Touching contaminated objects or surfaces
  • Coughing or sneezing into your hands and not washing them immediately

Proper Handwashing Techniques

Washing your hands is one of the best ways to rid them of these pesky germs and other harmful bacteria. Follow these steps every time you wash your hands to help to keep them squeaky clean:

  • Wet your hands warm, clean water.
  • Lather your hands with soap, being sure to get all the cracks and crevices.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse your hands with warm, clean water.
  • Dry your hands with a clean hand towel or let them air dry.

When to Use Hand Sanitizer

Although washing your hands with soap and clean water is more effective when it comes to eliminating all types of germs, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are an excellent alternative when you don’t have access to soap and water.

Remember to opt for hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol and follow these tips to ensure its effectiveness against germs:

  • Use enough hand sanitizer to cover all surfaces of your hands.
  • Rub your hands together until your hands feel dry.
  • Be sure not to wipe off your hands before the sanitizer is dry.