This week in safety: The ABCs of handwashing

Consumer Reports News: May 01, 2009 05:09 PM

As the Handwasher-in-Chief said this week, it's a good idea to clean your hands thoroughly especially during a flu outbreak. That's not news to most parents and teachers. Washing your hands and those of the children you oversee is a good practice for lots of reasons and is the best way to avoid getting sick.

The Mayo Clinic recommends soaping up your hands and rubbing them together vigorously for 15 to 20 seconds. As many teachers tell their charges, that is about the length of time it takes to sing the entire Alphabet Song. For adults who prefer a more sophisticated ditty, NPR is hosting a vote for other 20-second songs or snippets to scrub by. In the lead so far is the bridge from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" (bridge at min 3.06).

No matter what song you use, remember to lather up, scrub well, rinse off and dry your hands with a clean or disposable towel. (Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used in a pinch.) Let's get started: "A, B, C, D ..."

H1N1 (swine) flu updates
At Consumers Union we've been following the H1N1 flu situation closely on both our Health blog and in a special H1N1 Flu section of the Consumer Reports Web site. Check in for information on prevention, treatment and interviews with our doctors and other experts.

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