Patients and Families

Hand washing to prevent flu

Wash your hands!

Good hand hygiene is important and effective in preventing the spread of any strain of flu virus.

All influenza viruses are spread from person to person in respiratory droplets propelled by coughs and sneezes from an infected person to the mouth or nose of another person. They also spread when a person touches respiratory droplets on an object or person and then touches his or her own mouth or nose.

Teach your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw the tissue away, or in the inside of his or her elbow (the “crook” of your arm).

The single most important thing you and your child can do to prevent the spread of influenza virus is — wash your hands! Rub your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. That is the amount of time it takes to recite the alphabet or to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Be sure that you reach every surface of your hands and fingernails. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also available.

Learn more ways to teach your child about hand washing:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Last Update
August 19, 2013
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Last Update
August 19, 2013
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