The National Center for Infectious Diseases suggests washing your hands:
- before, during and after food preparation
- before and after bathroom use
- after handling pets
- throughout the day if someone near you is sick, or if it seems there are a number of co-workers walking around with a cold or the flu
Also, don’t think a quick swish under the faucet is enough. You need to work up a good lather with soap and water for about 10-15 seconds and scrub thoroughly before rinsing well and drying your hands. If dry skin is a concern, try using a moisturizer after washing.
Furthermore, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians outline the following four principles for hand awareness:
- Wash your hands when they are dirty and before eating.
- Do not cough into your hands.
- Do not sneeze into your hands.
- Above all, do not put your fingers into your eyes, nose or mouth.