The Importance of Handwashing

Handwashing is key factor in preventing the spread of infections. Simply washing your hands can help you and those around you avoid getting sick. Washing your hands with soap and water removes germs you may have picked up from contaminated surfaces, other people, animals or waste. Whether you are at home, at work or at the hospital, it is important to keep your hands clean.

At Manatee Memorial Hospital, we want to help our patients and visitors stay safe from infectious diseases caused by germs. Germs can hide just about anywhere and when your hands come in contact with them, you can become a carrier of disease. Contaminated hands can spread anything from the common cold to more serious diseases such as hepatitis A and meningitis.

You can do your part in preventing the spread of disease by following the guide below to properly wash your hands.

The Right Way to Wash Your Hands

  • Wet your hands with warm water and apply soap
  • Rub your hands together vigorously and scrub the entire area for at least 20 seconds. Don't forget to get between your fingers and under your nails!
  • Rinse thoroughly and turn the faucet off using a towel
  • Dry your hands

If your hands become contaminated, you can infect yourself anytime you touch your nose, mouth or eyes. It is very likely that you are not washing your hands as frequently as you should. To avoid infection, you should always wash your hands at these times: 

  • Before eating
  • After using the bathroom
  • Before, during and after you prepare food
  • Before and after taking care of a cut or wound
  • After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose
  • After handling animals
  • Anytime your hands are visibly dirty
  • After coming in contact with someone who is already sick

If you follow these steps and wash your hands regularly and properly, you can help prevent the spread of germs and diseases.