Grab a healthy hand habit

Annie Wells with #safeHANDS sign

Health authorities say one of the easiest things Tasmanians can do to prevent the spread of infectious disease is to wash their hands well and often with soap and water.

Acting Director of Public Health Dr Mark Veitch has urged Tasmanians to make World Hand Hygiene Day [5 May 2015] the day they embrace the healthy hand washing habit.

"Making sure your hands are clean is particularly important during the Tasmanian winter when colds and flu and gastro spread quickly," Dr Veitch said.

"Every day our hands pick up millions of germs just by touching shared surfaces like doors, desks and kitchen benches.

"If you then touch your nose, eyes, mouth or anything that goes in your mouth, these germs can get inside your body and make you sick.

"Simply running your hands under a tap isn't enough to flush away the germs," Dr Veitch said.

Make sure you wash your hands with soap and water:

  • before, during and after preparing food, and before eating
  • after using the toilet
  • after you cough, sneeze or use tissues or hanky
  • before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • after touching animals
  • after gardening or touching garbage
  • before and after treating a cut or wound.

Dr Veitch said patients should expect healthcare providers to clean their hands before touching them.

"Clean hands really do save lives in our healthcare facilities and help prevent the spread of disease in the community," Dr Veitch said.

More information 

5 May 2015