Proper Hand Washing Technique For Cold & Flu Season

Prevention & Awareness

November 30, 2018

As we all know, it’s that time of year again when the weather is turning cold and the yucky cold and flu season is back again. To ensure you are staying in good health, we wanted to give you a friendly reminder of the proper hand washing techniques.


Flu Season Statistics

What are the odds that you will get sick from a cold or the flu this season? On average 5% to 20% of the U.S. population will get the flu at some point throughout the year, and the peak flu season in the U.S. is between December and February. Furthermore, 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year due to problems regarding the flu, adding up to $10 billion dollars in hospitalizations and outpatient doctor visits.


It typically takes one to four days for symptoms to show up once a person has contracted the virus. Adults can remain contagious for five to ten days after the illness starts. That is why preventative hand washing is so important.


Hand Washing Reminders

Here are a few simple steps for proper hand washing techniques:

Step 1: Wet your hands with clean, running water, and apply soap.

Step 2: Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

Step 3: Scrub your hands for 20 seconds. This is the equivalent of singing the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. Feel free to sing it out loud to make this task a little more fun.

Step 4: Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

Step 5: Dry your hands with a clean towel, air blower or air dry.


Hand Sanitizer

If you don’t have access to a sink, use antibacterial hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and use plenty of it. It is important to remember that hand sanitizer works best when you lightly coat the entirety of both hands. To make sure both hands are completely covered, rub the hands together while wet and interlace the fingers to coat the inside of each individual finger.

Handwashing and Kids

If you can’t persuade your kids to wash their hands, try these Do’s and Don’ts to instill good hand-washing habits and techniques:

DO make hand-washing fun by singing the alphabet song or the “Happy Birthday” song. Make this is a learning opportunity at the same time!

DON’T be boring. Try scented soaps to get kids excited to head to the sink to wash their hands.

DO explain that the simple act of lathering up their little hands with soap and water will help to prevent them from getting sick and spreading germs.


Keep yourself and your family on guard this cold and flu season by keeping those hands washed.