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hand washing

Hand washing hangups

Hand washing is the most important activity to avoid getting sick.

During cold and flu season, frequent hand washing is the single most important thing people can do to avoid getting sick. While 92 percent of Americans said they always wash their hands in public restrooms, researchers for the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) found that only 77 percent actually do so.

The study found women are much better at publicly washing their hands than their male counterparts. Nearly 33 percent of men don’t bother to wash up after using public restrooms, compared to 12 percent of women.

If soap and water aren’t available, reach for the hand sanitizer or hand wipes, says the ASM.

Follow these seven easy steps to fight germs with clean hands.

  1. Wet your hands with warm water
  2. Use soap
  3. Rub hands together and wash your fingers and the tops and bottoms of your hands
  4. Wash for 20 seconds – the amount of time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" two times
  5. Rinse hands under running water
  6. Dry hands
  7. Use paper towel to turn off faucet

If you do end up with a cold or the flu, learn more about the best places to go to get the care you need.

 

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