Do clean hands even prevent the flu?
No, however, it can prevent the spread of the flu virus and other germs that can make you sick. When those using public spaces wash their hands at the right times and they wash the right way, everyone is less likely to come in contact with the flu virus and they are definitely less likely to spread germs to others. Washing hands well is an important preventative measure that will keep employees and customers at any facility healthier. Healthy employees mean fewer missed days of work and less sick days will be used.
When do you wash your hands?
As most everyone knows, it is always best to you wash your hands when you use the bathroom or when working with food. However, during flu season it is even more important to wash your hands regularly and even more frequently than usual. Especially during flu season, try not to touch your face. Germs stick to hands and touching your face exposes them to your eyes, nose, ears, and mouth where infections can more easily enter your body. According to the Mayo Clinic, below are some other important times when hands should be washed.
- Preparing food, especially raw meat or poultry and before eating
- Treating wounds, giving medicine, or caring for a sick or injured person
- Inserting or removing contact lenses
- 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
- Handling garbage, household or garden chemicals, or anything that could be contaminated — such as a cleaning cloth or soiled shoes
- Shaking hands with others
Are you washing your hands the right way?
Yes. There is a correct way to wash your hands, and unfortunately most people do it wrong. The main problem is that folks was too quickly and do not hold their hands under the water long enough to be effective. The Global Handwashing Partnership recommends that hands are washed for 20 seconds with soap and are then dried on a clean cloth or paper towel. Singing the chorus of a song (either out loud or in your head) is a great way to know you’re washing long enough. Try to use a cloth or your elbow when turning off the sink water and when opening doors.
How can facilities help to prevent the spread of flu germs?
All facilities can make sure that bathroom and kitchen spaces are well stocked with soap and paper towels. Hand dryers are not as effective for preventing the spread of germs. Empty trash cans regularly. Make sure facilities are maintained and clean by disinfecting and sanitizing at the right times with the correct solutions for each surface.