Simple best practices for washing and sanitizing your hands can help you stay healthy and avoid spreading germs to others.
Healthy hand hygiene, including washing or sanitizing your hands frequently and correctly, is one of the simplest ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. But for many of us, it can be hard to create and sustain new habits —and it’s tempting for even the most dedicated to take shortcuts.
We caught up with Kaiser Permanente nursing leader Peggi Winter, DNP, RN, for a quick refresher on the steps to take to make hand hygiene as effective as possible.
“COVID-19 has everyone thinking about cleanliness,” said Winter. “A few quick tips will go far in protecting yourself and your family from not just coronavirus but all the other germs we spread back and forth heading into winter cold and flu seasons.”
Washing your hands with soap and water is generally preferable to using hand sanitizer for several reasons, but especially because hand-washing is more effective at removing certain kinds of germs. And hand-washing is a necessity when your hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
When soap and water aren’t available, correctly using an alcohol-based sanitizer can help you stop the spread of germs. To make sure hand sanitizer is readily available, consider keeping a container in your car, purse, or bag, or in your child’s backpack.
Learn more about protecting yourself from COVID-19.