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Hand Sanitizers: Do They Help Stop All Germs?

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What is the best way to wash hands?

Proper hand washing involves ''20 to 30 seconds of vigorous scrubbing with soap and warm water,” Glatt says. “It's the physical rubbing that does a lot of the work. But the soap is important."

What is the best way to use hand sanitizers?

To use hand sanitizers properly, use one or two squirts or pumps, Sansoni says. Rub hands together briskly, front and back, between fingers, around and under the nails, until hands are dry.

If you have a sick child, what can help contain those germs?

Use normal household cleaning agents such as bleach to wipe down surfaces such as diaper-changing tables, Glatt says.

"Pay careful attention to infection control," he says. "Wash [hands] with soap and water before preparing food. If you are sick, don't prepare food.''

Those with more than one child should be careful to wash their hands between tending to the sick child, such as diaper changing, and tending to the well child, he says.

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