Many diseases and conditions can be spread through inadequate hand hygiene as a result of not washing hands. Hands should always be washed:
- 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 up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
Hand hygiene is critical to interrupt the spread of infectious diseases, such as the common cold, influenza, and gastrointestinal illnesses.
For more information, visit CDC's Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives!