Clean Hands Help Protect Against Infection

Clean Hands Help Protect Against Infection

Hand washing is something that we are all taught to do, and so many of us have think we understand how and when to wash our hands. The truth is that most people don’t wash their hands correctly. Since one of the top recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is to wash your hands during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is integral to wash them correctly.

When To Wash Your Hands:

While people are encouraged to practice social distancing as a preventative measure, keeping your hands clean is just as important. Most people don’t realize how many surfaces they touch on a regular basis, and they often forget what they touched and proceed to touch their faces. This can lead to potential infection with the germs from their hands. Keeping your hands germ-free is near impossible, but frequent hand washing can help limit the transfer of bacteria, microbes, and viruses.

Always Wash Your Hands Before:

  • Preparing food or eating
  • Treating wounds or caring for sick people
  • Inserting or removing contact lenses

Always Wash Your Hands After:

  • Using the toilet
  • Treating wounds or caring for sick people
  • Changing diapers or cleaning up after a child who has used the toilet
  • Touching an animal or animal waste
  • Handling pet food or pet treats
  • Touching garbage
  • Blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

How To Wash Your Hands:

It’s always best to use antibacterial soap and water to wash your hands. Over-the-counter antibacterial soaps are more effective than regular soap. Follow the steps below to properly wash your hands.

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water that is either warm or cold.
  • Apply soap and lather the fronts and backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Some people sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice to make sure 20 seconds has elapsed.
  • Rinse your hands under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel. 

If You Can’t Use Soap And Water, Use Hand Sanitizer:

Hand washing with soap and water is always the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not immediately available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the next best option. Hand sanitizers can reduce the amount of germs on your hands in many situations, but:

  • They do not get rid of all types of germs
  • They may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
  • They may not remove harmful chemicals like heavy metals or pesticides.

Hand washing offers many benefits and adopting healthy hand washing habits can play a major role in your overall health. Additionally, make sure that children wash their hands frequently to keep them germ-free. Stay safe out there, be kind to people, and remember to wash your hands.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/

2020-03-20T17:13:11-07:00