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Thorough hand washing is one of the most important ways that we can stop infection spreading. This video explains how to wash your hands effectively.

Everyone should wash their hand after going to the toilet, and before and after eating.

In hospital, everyone should wash their hands before visiting a child. Remember that we are all working together to stop infection spreading – so do ask if we have washed our hands, we won’t mind.

Here are the steps that you need to take to wash your hands properly:

  1. Before you start; roll up your sleeves, remove any rings containing stones and remove your wrist watch.
  2. Wet your hands under running warm water before you add the soap. Liquid soap is usually easier to use than solid soap – and just as effective.
  3. Put a small amount of soap in the palm of one hand.
  4. Rub your hands together palm to palm to spread the soap over your skin.
  5. Rub on palm over the back of your other hand. Then do the same for the other hand.
  6. Either with your hands palm to palm or with one hand on top of the other, rub your hands together with your fingers interlaced to clean the space between your fingers.
  7. Clean the tips of your fingers by rubbing them in the cupped palm of your other hand.
  8. Hold your thumb with your other hand and rub the entire surface thoroughly. Repeat with your other thumb.
  9. Grasp one wrist with your other hand and rub the entire surface thoroughly. Repeat with your other wrist.
  10. Rub your hands palm to palm again.
  11. Rinse your hand thoroughly under running water to remove any traces of soap or bubbles.
  12. Dry your hands thoroughly using paper towels, or at home use a clean towel.

Remember: if you are doing certain tasks at home, such as changing your child’s dressing or giving certain medicines you might need to use an alcohol gel after thoroughly washing your hands. Your nurse will tell you if you need to do this.

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