Keep Your Hands Clean

This time of year it seems like there are so many people that we know who are sick. They may be sneezing, coughing, and blowing their nose. Guess where all those germs end up most of the time? In their hands. Germy hands are the biggest reason that so many people become ill. It is for this reason that health care providers stress the importance of good handwashing. Or at the very least they suggest everyone should try to sneeze or cough into a tissue or into the upper sleeve of their arm instead of their hands. This helps to keep germs away from hands that so often touch common objects other people touch as well.

Still, the best way to stop the spread of germs that can make you sick is to wash your hands. But it must be done the right way to remove any illness causing germs. Below are the steps to best wash away germs that might be on your hands.

  • Wet hands with warm water and apply soap to hands.
  • Rub hands together firmly for at least 20 seconds, covering all parts of the hands and spending more time with finger nails and areas where jewelry is worn.
  • Rinse hands with water.
  • Dry well with a paper towel.
  • Use towel to turn off faucet.

Good hand washing is important! The few seconds you spend at the sink could save you and your family a trip to the doctor's office. Hand washing is key to having less germs on your hands which can then get into your body making you sick.

If soap and water are not nearby, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol based hand sanitizers can quickly lower the amount of germs on hands most of the time, but sanitizers do not remove all types of germs and might not get rid of harmful chemicals or visible dirt.

For more information on preventing illness, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at Or call Four Corners Health Department at (402) 362-2621 or toll free 877-337-3573. Or send email to Visit our website at