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Heat Emergency in Boston
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Mayor Wu announced a heat emergency in the City of Boston through Wednesday, July 17. Cooling centers will be open at 14 BCYF community centers Monday through Wednesday, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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Hand Washing

This fact sheet answers frequently asked questions about hand washing.

The most important thing that you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands.

When should you wash your hands?

Hand washing saves lives! When should you wash your hands?

  • 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 touching garbage

When was the last time you washed your hands?

By washing your hands, you wash away germs that you may have picked up from other people or contaminated surfaces. You can prevent many diseases, such as the common cold, flu, hepatitis A, and infectious diarrhea by washing your hands. Frequent hand washing also prevents others around you from becoming sick with germs that you could unknowingly spread. 

Fight Germs. Wash Your Hands!

How do you wash your hands?

How do you correctly wash your hands?

  • First wet your hands, then apply soap (liquid or clean soap bar)
  • Rub your hands together to make a lather
  • Scrub all surfaces for at least 20 seconds (it is the soap along with the scrubbing action that helps to get rid of germs)
  • Be sure to wash those areas that carry germs most often
    • Back of hands
    • Wrists
    • Between fingers
    • Under fingernails
  • Rinse well
  • Dry hands with paper towel or a clean towel

In public bathrooms:

  • Turn off water faucet using a paper towel 
  • Use same towel to open the door handle when leaving the bathroom and discard after use
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