(CNN) – While many celebrate May 5th as “Cinco de Mayo” May 5th is also World Hand Hygiene Day.
It seems like such a simple thing, keeping your hands clean using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers, but it’s one of the most important steps we can take to keep from spreading germs to others, and to avoid getting sick ourselves.
May 5th aims to spread awareness about the importance of clean hands. They can reduce your risk of exposure to diseases and infections and even lower your risk of food poisoning.
Experts say you should always wash your hands:
- Before, during and after food prep and before eating.
- Before and after caring for a sick person
- Before and after treating a wound
- After using the toilet or changing diapers
- After touching garbage
- After handling animals, animal food or animal waste
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
And there’s a right way to wash up. First, wet your hands with clean, running water and apply soap, lather up, including the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
Scrub for at least 20 seconds, about the amount of time it takes to hum the “happy birthday” song twice. Rinse under clean, running water and dry well.
Experts say the best way to reduce the amount of germs on your hands is to wash them with water and soap.
If they aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Follow these steps for good hand hygiene today and every