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What helps us avoid the flu best: Soap or sanitizer?

One simple routine could help you and your family avoid the flu, colds, diarrhea and even some skin and eye infections. 

It's handwashing, and it's really the best method we have to avoid spreading any type of virus or bacteria between people. Because we use our hands to cover coughs and sneezes, we get viruses and bacteria on our hands. Then we touch a doorknob, light switch or some other common item at home or work and spread it to others. Once it's on your hands, it can easily get into your body because you're always touching your eyes, nose or mouth. 

Frequent handwashing is key. And don't just spritz a little water and soap on your hands. Place both hands under a stream of water and lather up with soap. Scrub for about 20 seconds—or you can teach your kids to scrub their hands for as long as it takes to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Then rinse your hands and dry with a clean towel, or let them air dry.

And what about using hand sanitizers? While some sanitizers help reduce the number of germs on your hands, they don't eliminate all germs and are not a substitute for washing your hands.


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