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Health Services


From your School Nurse

Why is hand washing important?

Unwashed or poorly washed hands are a common way of spreading many diseases, such as: colds, flu, ear infections, strep throat, diarrhea, and other intestinal problems.

Germs and viruses causing these diseases are passed by such routine things as handling food, touching doorknobs, shaking hands, and putting your mouth on a telephone receiver. The spread of many germs and viruses can be reduced by hand washing with soap and water.

When should I wash my hands?

  • After using bathroom
  • After blowing nose, sneezing, or coughing
  • Before eating or handling food
  • After handling uncooked meat
  • After taking out the trash
  • After changing a diaper
  • After handling money
  • After playing with a pet, especially reptiles, iguanas, turtles, snakes

Try not to touch your mouth, eyes, or ears when hands are unwashed.

How do I properly wash my hands?

  • Use hot or warm running water
  • Lather hands with soap (any kind)
  • Rub hands together for at least 10 seconds.
  • Wash the back of hands, between fingers, and under fingernails
  • Rinse with warm water
  • Pat hands dry, beginning at the wrist and moving down
  • Turn off water, using paper towel

How can hand washing help protect me and my family?

Poor hygiene, usually unwashed or poorly washed hands on the part of the food handler often cause food-borne illness outbreaks. Many diarrheal illnesses (salmonellosis, hepatitis A, shigellosis) can be passed from person to person when someone doesn’t wash his hands after using the bathroom and then passes it along to someone else by handling food, shaking hands, or touching something. The organism gets into the otherperson’s mouth and he gets sick. Unwashed or poorly washed hands are responsible for 1 in 4 food borne illnesses.

Parents, please talk to your children about the importance of hand washing. Hand washing is the single most important way of preventing the spread of infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Kathy Martin, District School Nurse

 Marsha Stipp, District Nurse Assistant

MaryEllen Smedley, CES Nurse Assistant