What’s the science?
Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.
Washing hands prevents illnesses and spread of infections to others.
Hand washing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because:
- People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.
- Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.
- Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
- Removing germs through hand washing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.
Watch Elmo and friends teach children how to wash their hands.
Available in many language subtitles.
Learn more about the science behind hand washing on the CDC website.
Tips for parents to teach their children how to wash hands.
Check this link out at Kids Health to help children learn more about the importance of washing their hands!
Discover the Life is Better with Clean Hands Campaign on the CDC website!