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Wash Those Hands

By Laura Robles, Sleep Coordinator, BreatheAmerica El Paso

It’s that time of the year where we start hearing of all the precautions we should be taking to prevent the flu and other maladies. Here is another one of those preventative measures that is all too easily overlooked. This is the most basic and simple way of preventing the spread of the flu–hand washing.

Experts believe this is the most important element in preventing the flu or any other kind of disease, second to the flu vaccine. However, it’s important to not just wash your hands, but to do it right. Yes, there is a wrong way and a right way of doing this. Passing your hands under the faucet for a few seconds won’t do the trick. It is necessary to rub your hands together with warm water and soap for at least 15 seconds. One way to remember how long that is–sing “happy birthday” song, twice.

Don’t forget to wash between your fingers and the backs of the hand. Most faucets are motion sensor activated, but if they are not, then use a paper towel to turn off the faucet. Otherwise, this defeats the whole purpose of washing your hands. Wash your hands in this manner several times a day and/or keep a gel hand sanitizer with you and use it often. Doing something so basic and simple can prevent you and your loved ones from the headaches of catching the flu… literally.