Date: May 21, 2019

Mainly sunny. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 15. UV index 8 or very high.

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Hand washing to Prevent the Spread of Disease

This page was reviewed or revised on Friday, September 22, 2017 1:27 PM

 Steps for effective Hand Washing poster

Hand washing is the easiest and most effective way to prevent the spread of infection.

You would be amazed if you knew the amount and type of germs that "hitchhike" on our hands. Some of these germs cause illnesses such as colds, diarrhea and other more serious diseases.

Forgetting to wash your hands can make you sick or spread germs to others. Germs can cause disease when dirty hands touch a nose, mouth or open wound.

Do not wait for your hands to look dirty before you wash them. There are many times during the day when hands need to be washed.

Wash your hands BEFORE:

  • Preparing or eating food
  • Treating a wound (yours or someone else)
  • Caring for someone who is ill
  • Inserting or removing contact lenses

Wash your hands AFTER:

  • Using the washroom
  • Changing diapers
  • Handling raw meats
  • Coughing, sneezing, etc.
  • Contact with animals (including pets)
  • Caring for someone who is ill
  • Handling garbage or anything that may be contaminated

If you cannot wash your hands right away, use antibacterial wipes or a sanitizing hand gel. These are only meant for use if a hand washing facility is not available. Wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you can.

Teach children how to wash their hands properly. It is an important part of self-care and necessary for healthy hygiene habits.

Drug resistant germs or "superbugs" are a concern. These bugs spread from person-to-person through hand contact. Hand washing can easily prevent this spread.

How to properly wash your hands:

  • Use warm running water.
  • Wet your hands & use soap.
  • Rub all parts of your hands together for 20 seconds.
  • Use lots of friction & remember to wash all surfaces including backs of hands & between fingers.
  • Rinse hands well so they are free of soap.
  • Dry hands with a towel. Turn off the taps with paper towels to prevent picking up germs left by dirty hands.
  • Apply lotion if needed to avoid dry skin.
  • Dry skin can be difficult to clean because germs can live in the cracks.

Hand Washing Poster (PDF)

What is PDF? PDF stands for Portable Document Format and is a way of distributing documents over networks while ensuring they always print the same. To view PDF files, you need either the Foxit Reader (1.1 MB) or Adobe Reader (27.7 MB)