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Hand Washing

How to wash your hands:

At home or work, wash your hands often and properly. Teach your children to do the same at home, at school, and at daycare.

Wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and make sure everyone in your family does too, especially children.

Wash your hands just before eating or preparing food and immediately after touching anything that might contaminate your hands. Your children should wash their hands before eating (even a snack), as well.

How often should I wash my hands?

Hands should be washed often - more frequently than most people do. Because bacteria and other germs cannot be seen with the naked eye, they can be anywhere. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand washing is especially important when:

The difference between cleaning and disinfecting:

Cleaning and disinfecting are two different things. Cleaning simply refers to using soap and water to remove dirt and most germs. Disinfecting, on the other hand, refers to cleaning solutions that contain ingredients that kill bacteria and other germs. Many surfaces look clean, but may be contaminated with germs.

The CDC recommends the following when cleaning and/or disinfecting:

*Always store cleaning solutions and other household chemicals in their original containers and out of children's reach.

The two most important household areas to clean and disinfect properly are the kitchen and the bathroom. In the kitchen, bacteria from raw food can contaminate surfaces and food preparation without proper cleaning can spread disease. Other important areas that require proper cleaning include children's changing tables and diaper pails.

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Online Resources of Infectious Diseases


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All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

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