December 5th to the 11th is National Handwashing Awareness Week, helping to remind us of the importance of keeping your hands clean to prevent respiratory illnesses. Proper handwashing techniques are proven to stop the spread of viruses and bacteria that can cause a wide range of health problems. Germs can quickly spread from people or surfaces through direct contact of contaminated objects. By washing your hands often and avoiding touching your face, you can eliminate the germ gateway and stay healthy all year long.

We all know that handwashing is extremely important when blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, and using the restroom, but there are plenty of other opportunities you should take to clean your hands. Wash your hands often if you’re caring for a sick person, before and after treating a cut or wound, before/during/after preparing or handling food, or after touching garbage. If you have a pet or encounter animals, be sure to thoroughly clean your hands before and after feeding them, giving them treats, or cleaning waste. When washing be sure to use warm water with plenty of soap. Scrub the back, palms, between your fingers, and under your nails for at least 20 seconds. Rinse, and dry with a clean towel.

Your hands touch hundreds of surfaces a day, and any one of them could be teeming with viruses and bacteria. You can easily transfer germs from one surface to another, or to yourself or someone else, without proper hygiene practices like handwashing. If you can’t make it to the sink, you can use hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of 60% or higher. This method isn’t 100% effective but works in a pinch if you’re on the go.

At Roger’s Family Pharmacy, we know that prevention is key to maintaining overall health and wellness. Life a healthier life with clean hands, protect yourself and your family through proper handwashing! Visit the Centers for Disease Control & Preventions’ website for more information regarding proper handwashing. You may also consult your local pharmacist at Roger’s Family Pharmacy at (601) 582-8351 for additional information.