NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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“Please, Wash Your Hands!”

“Please, Wash Your Hands!”


By, Sara Laite

Extension Agent


“Did you wash your hands?” my 7 year old asked her older brother the other day. Sighing, my son walked back into the bathroom and washed his hands. “And, don’t forget to use soap!” my daughter yelled at him. That girl is definitely her mother’s daughter!


Did you know? According to handwashing research, one in three adults skips washing his/her hands after using the restroom. One in four adults skips handwashing after changing a baby’s diaper. Fewer than one in five washes his/her hands after handling money. Are you a hand washer?


Proper handwashing is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean running water. Wash your hands after using the restroom, before and after food preparation, after handling pets, after changing a diaper, and many other times!


Handwashing really does help! In a study of 305 school children, researchers found that those who washed their hands four times a day had 24 percent fewer sick days due to respiratory illness and 51 percent fewer sick days due to upset stomach.


Here’s how to effectively wash. Wet your hands with clean, running water, add soap and lather up for at least 20 seconds. Scrub the backs of your hands, between fingers and under fingernails. Rinse well with running, warm water. Dry with a clean towel. In public restrooms, use a paper towel to open the door as you leave. Unfortunately, not everyone washes their hands!


Can hand sanitizers replace washing hands? Hand sanitizers are not a substitute for hand washing. Hand sanitizers are recommended when hand washing facilities are not available. Experts recommend that hand sanitizers contain at least 60 percent alcohol to effectively kill bacteria and viruses. Keep in mind that hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.


Need some hand washing reminders for you place of work or home? Come see us at the Ramsey County Extension Office, and we will set you up with your needs.


Here’s a kid-friendly recipe to cook with your child while learning about the importance of hand washing. Practice singing “Happy Birthday” twice or the “ABCs” while washing for the recommended 20 seconds.

Stuffed French Toast Wraps

1 egg

¼ c. skim milk

1 tsp. cinnamon

3 whole wheat tortillas

¾ c. nonfat vanilla yogurt

1 c. fruit

Combine egg, milk and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Dip tortilla into egg mixture coating each side. Allow to soak for 1 minute. Cook tortilla in a skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place ¼ cup yogurt and 1/3 cup fruit in middle of tortilla and then roll. Garnish with more yogurt and fruit to serve. Makes three servings. Each serving has 230 calories, 5g fat, 11g protein, 36g carbohydrates, 2g fiber and 105mg sodium.


Contact our office for more information: 701-662-7027. Website: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/ramseycountyextension. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NDSUExtRamsey/.


Sources: NDSU Extension, Wash Your Hands!, 2015.



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