Handwashing 101

Milford Regional Medical Center wants to remind everyone that the easiest – and most effective – way to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), handwashing prevents the spread of diarrhea-related sicknesses and respiratory infections, such as colds. By reducing the number of infections by the simple act of handwashing, you are also reducing the use of antibiotics and, in-turn, preventing the rise of antibiotic-resistant germs.

To keep yourself and those around you healthy, remember to wash your hands before and after certain activities, such as preparing or eating food; caring for someone who is sick; using the toilet; touching garbage;  after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or whenever you may come in contact with germs.

Germs are found on common places such as stairwell hand rails, shopping carts, door handles and touch screens.

The CDC recommends scrubbing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, rinsing thoroughly and drying your hands. Follow the five steps below to wash your hands the right way every time:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. If you need a timer, hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

If soap and clean, running water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol.

To help remind you of the importance of washing your hands, Milford Regional has created a fun video to show you how to say “bye bye” to germs. Check out the video on our website at milfordregional.org, or for more information on handwashing, visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov.


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