School Nurse - North Bergen High School
Mrs. Dawn Meicke
Handwashing and Safety Information
Please remember to:
- Wash your hands
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Stay home when you are sick
- Adhere to social distancing guidelines
- Listen to Federal, State, and local officials
The CDC recommends washing hands in specific ways and at specific times to avoid transmission of infection. Members of the general public, as well as healthcare personnel, should wash their hands (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018f):
- Before, during, and after preparing food.
- Before eating food.
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
- Before and after treating a cut or wound.
- After using the toilet.
- After changing diapers or cleaning someone who has used the toilet.
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste.
- After handling pet food or pet treats.
- After touching garbage.
How should hands be washed? When using soap and water, especially in cases where pathogens are resistant to alcohol-based hand sanitizer (e.g., C. difficile infection) the CDC recommends the following steps when washing hands (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018g):
- Wet the hands with clean running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap. Do not wash hands in a basin of standing water since such water may have been contaminated with previous use. The temperature does not appear to affect the removal of microbes. Warmer water may cause more skin irritation and is more environmentally costly. Turning off the faucet saves water, and, to date, there are few data to prove whether significant numbers of germs are transferred between hands and the faucet.
- Lather hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of the hands, between the fingers, and under the nails. Lathering and scrubbing creates friction, which helps lift dirt, grease, and microbes from the skin.
- The hands should be scrubbed for at least 20 seconds. Humming the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end two times is a good estimate of 20 seconds.
- The hands should be well-rinsed under clean, running water. Rinsing the skin helps to remove dirt and pathogens as well as minimizing skin irritation.
- The hands should be dried with a clean towel or air-dried. Pathogens transfer more easily from wet hands so hands should be thoroughly dried