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Prevent Colds and the Flu - Wash Your Hands

Washing hands

Erik M. Shessler, MD, associate medical director, Pediatrics, CHaD, offers these tips for preventing illness during the flu and cold season:

  • Handwashing is one of the critical steps we can all take to help prevent the spread of illnesses. It involves five simple and effective steps: wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry.
  • Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. Scrub for at least 20 seconds, about the length of the “Happy Birthday” song.
  • If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol—but remember hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
  • To help prevent the flu, get a flu shot every year. They are safe and effective and provide the single best way to prevent the flu.