BayWellness — Fall 2015
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Dr. Sandra Arango-Fahmy

CLEAN HANDS SAVES LIVES

“Hand washing is easy to do and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness in all settings, says Dr. Arango-Fahmy.

“How often do you hear the question, did you wash your hands, or how many times a day do you say it? Probably a lot,” says family medicine physician Dr. Sandra Arango-Fahmy, D.O. But why is it so important to be hung up on lather?

“As a mother of three boys this is something that is definitely close to my heart,” continues Dr. Arango-Fahmy. “Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the simplest yet most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. The spread of many diseases and conditions could be controlled by washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If clean, running water is not accessible, as is common in many parts of the world, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol to clean hands.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 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 cut or wound
After using the toilet
After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
After touching garbage

What’s the best way to wash hands?

Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap – be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

“Hand washing is easy to do and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness in all settings, from your home and workplace to child care facilities and hospitals,” says Dr. Arango-Fahmy. “Clean hands can help stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.”
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