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Hand washing is generally considered to be the most important way to stop the spread of infection.
How to wash your hands properly . . .
Hands should be washed before eating, smoking or preparing food and after going to the toilet, touching animals, gardening or handling objects soiled with blood or other body substances. Cuts and abrasions should be covered with a water-resistant dressing which should be changed as necessary or when the dressing becomes soiled.
- Use soap and running water. Warm to hot water is best.
- Wet hands thoroughly and lather with soap.
- Rub hands vigorously for at least 10-15 seconds as you wash them.
- Pay attention to back of hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails.
- Rinse hands well under running water.
- Dry hands with a disposable paper towel or a clean towel. To minimise chapping (reddening, roughening or cracking of skin) of hands, pat dry rather than rub them. Electric hand driers may be used. If cloth towels are used select a fresh towel each time or if a roller towel is used, select a fresh portion of towel.
- Turn off the tap with the used paper towel, if applicable.
- Use skin lotion, if necessary, to prevent dry cracked skin. If you use skin lotion, it should be rinsed off before preparing or handling food.
A bar of soap or liquid soap may be used for hand washing. If reusable containers are used for liquid soap, they must be cleaned and dried before refilling with fresh soap. The type of soap does not matter, provided it is well tolerated by the user.
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