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Publication #FCS8782-Eng

Proper Hand Washing for Caregivers1

Amy Simonne2

Hand washing is an important way to reduce the fecal-oral transfer of germs that cause diseases. Young children and frail elders have less ability to fight germs than others. As a caregiver you can help reduce the risk of diseases that can be transmitted in a crowded environment by using proper hand washing procedures.

Figure 1. 

Remove jewelry, except for plain wedding band.


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Figure 2. 

Use soap and running water.


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Figure 3. 

Lather hands and wrists with soap for 20 seconds. (Sing the Happy Birthday song twice.)


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Figure 4. 

Wash the backs of hands and wrists, between fingers, and under fingernails using a nailbrush.


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Figure 5. 

Rinse your hands and wrists with running water.


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Figure 6. 

Use a paper towel to turn off the water. Dry hands and wrists with clean, disposable paper towels. If you use hand sanitizer, apply it now.


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Wash your hands before:

  • Eating and preparing foods

  • Touching serving utensils

  • Preparing formula for infants

  • Handling ready to eat foods

  • Serving foods

Wash your hands after:

  • Visiting the restroom

  • Covering your nose or mouth when you cough or sneeze

  • Working with raw foods

  • Changing diapers

  • Engaging in activities outdoors

  • Doing other activities that dirty your hand

Footnotes

1.

This document is FCS8782-Eng, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date November 2005. Reviewed October 2011. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Amy Simonne, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.