6 Tips to Help You Stay Safe from Harmful Germs

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You’re always looking for ways to help protect yourself and your family against germs and the illness and infection they can cause. Here are six tips to help everyone stay safe.

1. Use an antibacterial soap:

One of the single most effective ways to prevent illness is to prevent germs from multiplying on your skin. When you wash your hands—or shower—with an antibacterial soap, you slow down the natural growth patterns of bacterial and fungal microbes that can cause illness and infection.

2. Remember when to wash your hands:

Make sure everyone in your family washes their hands frequently, especially when they handle food, care for someone who is sick, change a diaper, pet an animal, treat a cut or wound, cough or blow their noses, or use the toilet.1

3. Use the right hand-washing technique:

Wash your hands under running water, lathering up for 20 seconds before rinsing and drying them thoroughly. Do your children have trouble with the 20-second rule? Teach them to recite their ABCs—not once, but twice—before they rinse the lather from their hands. Read more tips about the correct hand-washing technique.

4. Disinfect the surfaces in your home:

Did you know that viruses such as influenza can actually live on surfaces for up to 48 hours,1 so frequent disinfecting is important. Try to wipe down surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom once per day with a household disinfectant or disinfecting wipes.

5. Keep hand sanitizer handy:

For those times when you don’t have soap and running water, use hand sanitizer. Stock up on the pocket-sized bottles for when you’re on the go, and keep them around the house for quick dry washes. Use a product that contains at least 60% alcohol.2

6. Keep your hands away your face:

The flu virus commonly enters the body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. So try not to rub your eyes or bite your nails, and keep disposable tissues with you for when you blow your nose.3

1 http://www.cbsnews.com/news/de-germing-your-house-words-to-the-wise/ 2 http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html 3 http://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/wellness/30635-tips-stay-healthy-rainy-season