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Stephanie Kreiling, infection control manager at Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth, answers frequently asked questions about the importance of hand washing.
Why is hand washing important?
Hand hygiene is the single most important action to prevent the transmission of infections.
When should you wash your hands?
You should wash your hands before, during and after preparing food; before eating food; before and after caring for someone who is sick; before and after treating a wound; after using the bathroom; after changing diapers; after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; after touching garbage; and after handling animals or animal waste.
How are germs transmitted?
Germs are most commonly spread by direct or indirect contact. Direct contact happens when a person touches a germy object or surface.
What is the correct way to wash hands?
Are alcohol-based sanitizers effective and how do you use them?
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, with at least 60 percent alcohol, are effective at killing most harmful germs on hands. However, hand sanitizers do not work well when hands are visibly dirty.
How much liquid hand sanitizer should be used?
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