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Wash hands properly

Why is handwashing important?

Our hands may carry millions of microbes. While many of them are harmless, some may cause illnesses, such as common cold, flu and diarrhea.

Where are germs from?

While germs are invisible, they are present everywhere in the environment. We can easily pick up germs from various objects, such as doorknobs and stair railings. If you recall how many things you touch everyday and how often you wash your hands, you will know how dirty your hands are.

Can handwashing prevent disease?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the USA reports that handwashing is one of the most important means of preventing the spread of infection. It is the first line of defence against infectious diseases, including respiratory infections and gastrointestinal disorders, among others.

Do you always wash your hands after going to the toilet?

Yes

No

When should we wash our hands?

Before -
‧ preparing and taking food

After -
‧ going to the toilet;
‧ handling raw foods;
‧ eating, drinking or smoking;
‧ touching the ears, hair, mouth or other parts of the body;
‧ coughing, sneezing or blowing the nose; and
‧ handling dirty things like soiled equipment and utensils or waste.

How can we wash our hands thoroughly?
How we wash is as important as when we wash. You may think that handwashing is simple, but you could be skipping one or two steps which are critical. Answer the following questions to find out whether you are doing right.

 

Quiz  
Question 1 I just rinse my hands under the water without applying soap.
 

Yes

No

Question 2 I use running water to rinse my hands during handwashing.
 

Yes

No

Question 3 After applying soap, I rub my hands for a few seconds.
 

Yes

No

After rinsing, I use a cloth to dry my hands before handling foods.
 

Yes

No

 

Do you remember how and when you should wash your hands? Let’s go through all the points.

How to wash your hands before handling foods?

  1. Wet hands with running water;
  2. Apply soap;
  3. Rub hands thoroughly for 20 seconds, including the forearms, wrists, palms, back of hands, fingers and under the fingernails;
  4. Rinse thoroughly;
  5. Dry with a paper towel; and
  6. Turn off the tap by holding it with a paper towel.

Demonstration video clip on “How to Wash Your Hands?” (Chinese version only)

When to wash your hands?

Before -
‧ preparing and taking food

After -
‧ going to the toilet;

‧ handling raw foods;

‧ eating, drinking or smoking;

‧ touching your ears, hair, mouth or other parts of your body;

‧ coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose; and

‧ handling dirty things like soiled equipment and utensils or waste.

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2007 copyright logo | Important notices Last Revision Date : 30-12-2006