It’s National Hand Washing Week and we want to help keep everyone well. I know we at The Martin News has ran this information several times but if just one new person reads it this week, that may be a few more people that keeps the sicknesses down this winter. Hand washing is easy to do and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness in all settings which includes from your home and workplace to child care facilities and hospitals. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community. Many people ask when they should wash their hands. The answer is quiet simple and includes but is not limited to these. Before, during, and after preparing food, Before eating food, Before and after caring for someone who is sick, Before and after treating a cut or wound, After using the toilet, After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet, After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste and After touching garbage. Well as simple as that sounds, many say they do not know the right way to wash their hands. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us to Wet our 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. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water and last, Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. Often we are out and about and need to wash our hands and may not have soap and clean, running water. Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of microbes on them in most situations. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy. You may ask “how do you use hand sanitizers?” Apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount). Rub your hands together. Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. With December being Hand Washing Awareness Week, please take these tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and use them all year long!