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Germs and Hand-Washing

Germs are very small living things that are too tiny to see with our eyes. People need special equipment to see germs.  For example, a microscope makes things look bigger, so when a scientist looks through a microscope, he or she can see the germs.

 

Germs are everywhere, and some germs make people sick.  If a person catches a cold, the cold started with germs.  When someone gets the flu, germs got into his or her body. Germs get into our bodies through our mouth, nose, eyes, or other body openings, including through a cut in the skin.  

Germs are alive, so they can move and are able to grow.  When they grow, they get bigger.  Germs also spread.  If germs spread, they move from one place to other places; for example, if a person is sick and coughs or sneezes into the air, the germs spread. Then these germs might make other people sick.  

For good health, we must try to stop germs from spreading.   One of the easiest and most important ways is to wash our hands. The correct way to wash hands is to use warm water, soap, and friction.  When we rub our hands together, we create friction. This helps the soap and water remove the germs.

We should wash our hands often.  Washing our hands after sneezing, coughing, touching uncooked food, touching animals, and after going to the bathroom is important to remember.  Washing our hands after we have been out in public is also a good idea, especially if we have touched doors, handles, or railings, because others may have touched these surfaces without having washed their hands. Washing our hands before eating or preparing food is also extremely important.

Remembering this important information about how germs spread and how to stop them from spreading by washing our hands can help keep us and those around us healthier.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners