Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs. It applies all-year round, not just in springtime. Every time you touch a contaminated surface, you can transfer germs to and from your hands – but proper and thorough hand washing helps to remove the germs, protecting you and your family from infection.
Focus on those times or activities when there is known to be a high risk of germ transfer – before food preparation, including any baby feeds, after using the toilet, or changing a nappy, clearing out rubbish, general cleaning and handling raw food, caring for someone who is ill (e.g. sickness or diarrhoea), before and after dressing a wound, and after any contact with bodily fluids (e.g. blood, faeces, vomit).
To ensure that your hands are properly clean, you should use liquid soap and rub together your palms, the backs of your hands, your thumbs, between your fingers, and under and around your nails for at least 20 seconds before rinsing under clean, running water. Hand sanitisers are designed to kill germs on hands that are not visibly dirty, if no soap and water are available.