Wash Your Hands to Keep Yourself and Others Healthy


Hi, my name is [PRESENTER NAME]. I am [PRESENTER ROLE]. Welcome to ÒWash Your Hands to Keep Yourself and Others HealthyÓ


Washing your hands regularly and correctly is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce your risk of contracting diseases or spreading diseases to others. This video will teach you how to wash your hands correctly, which can reduce your risk of contracting or transmitting a disease.


Things that cause human diseases, such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites, can be found in the air, soil, and water, on people's hands, and on surfaces that people have touched.


You will often come in contact with things that cause diseases when you touch objects or surfaces that other people have touched. If you then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes, this increases the risk that you will contract a disease. If the things that cause disease remain on your hands, this increases the risk that you will transmit a disease to someone else. When should you wash your hands?


You should always wash your hands:

-       after you use the toilet or latrine

-       after touching your nose or mouth after a sneeze or cough

-       before you prepare or eat food

-       after you touch raw meat, fish, or eggs

-       before and after you care for someone who is sick

-       after you change a diaper


It is especially important to wash your hands before you prepare or eat food. If you donÕt, the things on your hands that cause disease can make you or other people who eat the food extremely sick. The elderly, infants, or people with weak immune systems are especially vulnerable to food-borne diseases and are more likely to die if they contract one. If you are caring for someone who is sick and has a weak immune system, such as a person with HIV or AIDS, itÕs important to wash your hands before touching them to avoid transmitting a disease that might make them very sick.


Finally, itÕs extremely important to wash your hands after you use the toilet or latrine. Unfortunately, many people fail to do this, so the toilet or latrine is often contaminated with things in feces that cause diseases.


Most people do not wash their hands long enough or thoroughly enough to remove most of the things that cause disease.


To wash your hands correctly with soap and water:

1)    First, wet your hands with clean, warm water.

2)    Apply soap.

3)    Wash the front and back of your hands, your thumbs, between the fingers, around the wrists and forearms and underneath each fingernail and thumbnail.

4)    Remember to rub your hands together for at least twenty seconds.

5)    Rinse your hands off.

6)    Dry your hands with a clean disposable towel. If no disposable towel is available, do not use your clothes or a towel that has been used by others. In this case, it is best to let your hands dry naturally, in the air.

7)    Use the towel to turn off the faucet and to open the door of the toilet or latrine as you leave.


Hands can also be cleaned using an alcohol-based handrub, called a sanitizing solution. These handrubs enable you to clean your hands better in less time and are less likely than soap and water to cause dry skin, so they are especially useful for people like health care workers who must wash their hands frequently. To wash your hands correctly with a disinfecting alcohol-based handrub:

1)    Apply the handrub to the palm of one hand.

2)    Rub your hands together, covering all surfaces, until they are dry.


Remember: washing your hands is a simple and effective way to reduce your risk of contracting or transmitting diseases. This is [PRESENTER NAME].


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This script was reviewed for accuracy and approved by Becky Kuhn, M.D. on July 30, 2011.





Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings." Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 25 Oct 2002, vol. 51, no. RR-16.


"Avoiding the flu: It's in your hands." Fall 2004 health@mit, issue 10.2.



University of Mississippi, National Food Service Management Institute. "Wash Your Hands: Educating the School Community."