Pay Attention To Hand Washing

Written by on June 10, 2013 in Health - No comments | Print this page

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washing-handsWashing your hands is one of the first lessons we all learn as children.

We are taught that keeping them clean helps to eliminate the germs and bacteria that cause infection and sickness.

Washing your hands not only helps you stay healthier, but will avoid spreading some germ and diseases to others.

Hand contact is one of the easiest ways for germs to spread from person to person.

Clean hands are important in all locations—health care situations, child care and schools, offices and all workplaces, and generally anywhere people come in contact.

Hand washing is easy to do and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness in all settings—from your home and workplace to child care facilities and hospitals. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.

You should be washing your hands several times a day—more if you have one of these instances:

  • Preparing food—both before and after, including discarding garbage. This is especially important when you have handled raw poultry or meat.
  • Caring for a sick person, especially when treating a wound
  • Before and after changing nappies or washing a child after using the toilet
  • Using the toilet
  • Caring for an animal, touching its food, or cleaning up waste
  • Even when you don’t have a cold, after sneezing or blowing your nose
  • Inserting or handling your contact lenses
  • Whenever your hands just look dirty
  • First wet your hands, running water (either cold or hot) is best.
  • Apply soap. In a public setting when using the soap dispenser avoid touching it.
  • Using a pump bottle of hand soap at home is a good practice.
  • Create lather by rubbing your hands together.
  • Make sure to scrub your entire hands—under nails, between fingers, and the backs.
  • Pay attention to the time you scrub. It should be for 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Use running water to rinse.
  • Use a towel to turn off the faucet.
  • Dry hands using a hand dryer or a clean towel. Do not leave your hands wet as the moisture makes an ideal breeding ground for the germs that are left on your skin.

Is There a Better Way to Wash?

Using Hand Sanitizers

If your hands are not extremely dirty and soap is not available, it is effective to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. (When purchasing sanitizer look for one that is at least 60 percent alcohol.) While these products do not remove every type of germ, they can get your hands quickly and reasonably clean.

  • After checking the label to determine a good amount to use, put the sanitizer in the palm of your hand.
  • Rub hands together.
  • Scrub the entire surface of your hands until they feel totally dry.

Now that you know the best methods for washing hands, it is time to make sure you’re your children learn the proper techniques.  Hand hygiene is a very important element to keeping good health. Many diseases can be easily prevented by using this one simple step.

Chloe is a writer who works for PHS Washrooms, a company which offer washroom supplies. She currently resides in Cardiff in the UK.

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