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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Infectious Diseases
- Prevention, Control & Outbreak Management

Hand Washing

Washing or sanitizing your hands helps prevent the spread of infections.

Even though your hands may look clean, they are always picking up germs, carrying them around and leaving them behind on the common things that you touch every day. Your hands pick up germs when you do everyday things like coughing or sneezing into your hands, touching  door handles and light switches, preparing food, changing diapers, and playing with toys, to name a few.

Germs like to enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth and 80% of common infections are caught when you touch your eyes, nose and mouth with hands that are loaded with germs. Other people can also get sick from the germs your unwashed hands leave behind on the common things you touch every day.

The flu is a very serious illness for the very young, the elderly, those with health problems, and people with a weak immune system.

Washing your hands (or using alcohol based hand rub) is the best way to get rid of germs and protect yourself against many infections including the common cold and the flu. Cleaning your hands will help you stay healthy and will protect others from getting sick too.

 

When to Wash Your Hands!

  • Before you eat
  • Before and after preparing food
  • After using the toilet
  • After helping someone else use the toilet
  • After changing diapers
  • After you blow your nose, cough or sneeze
  • When your hands are visibly dirty
  • After looking after someone who is sick
  • After handling pets and cleaning their cages and litter boxes
  • After cleaning around the house



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Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
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