Now that flu season is here, it’s time to be more cognizant of what you can do to prevent germs and catching those nasty bugs. Here are some tips that may help.
Make sure you use soap and water. Those antibacterial gels can help in a pinch but they shouldn’t be the main hand cleanser you use.
Wash long enough. It is recommended to sing Happy Birthday through two times (to yourself of course – not out loud) in order to get the correct length of time needed to remove the germs.
Make sure you thoroughly dry your hands. Germs love to grow in moisture so you need to make sure they are dry.
Wash your hands more often. Don’t wait to wash them only when you go to the bathroom. If you go to a public place and use a shopping cart, doorknob, elevator button, or other thing that many people tend to touch, wash your hands. In the meantime, try not to touch your face before you can wash.
Don’t touch other surfaces after washing. Use your elbows to leave a room. Even the faucets you use can contaminate your hands again. You can use a paper towel to turn off a faucet if you aren’t where a faucet turns off automatically.
If you use bar soap, rinse it off before using. It may have germs and if you are in a household that shares soap, there may be germs on it.
You can use plain soap. There is no evidence that antibacterial soap is any better.
Here is WHO’s recommendation for cleaning hands: