Wash after you flush – Why is washing your hands so important?
Washing hands seems like a mundane concept, however, have you ever taken a moment to think how important this simple action really is to your health? Here are a few facts that may make you think twice about skipping a good hand scrubbing.
- According to the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) a good hand washing could reduce deaths associated by diarrhoea by up to 50%.
- According to a study people touch their faces an average of 3.6 times per hour.
- Television remote controls are fast becoming a leading carrier of bacteria.
- Ladies, your handbag alone can carry up to 10 000 bacteria per square inch.
Is hot water more effective for hand washing?
To many it would make sense that using hot water to wash your hands would be more effective than using cold water. On the contrary, no evidence really exists that can substantiate this claim. Warmer water can, in fact, irritate the skin and affect the protective layer on your hands.
When to wash your hands:
- Before eating your food
- Before, during and after you’ve prepared your food
- Before and after treating wounds
- After using the toilet
- After touching or feeding an animal
- After handling pet food
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- After changing diapers
- After touching garbage
How to wash your hands:
Wet your hands with clean water and be sure to turn off the tap as you apply soap to your hands, liquid if possible. Lather your hands and be sure to wash the backs of your hands, between your fingers, under your nails, palms and wrists. The CDC recommends that we wash our hands for at least 20 seconds. Rinse your hands thoroughly and dry them with a clean towel or air dry your hands.
Using hand sanitiser
Hand sanitiser is the best alternative if you cannot get to the bathroom or a sink to wash your hands. We recommend that you use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol. Apply the gel to the palm of one hand and rub your hands together so as to cover all surfaces of your hands. Rub your hands until they are dry.
At Healthshare we take the health and well-being of the community at heart and we do hope that you’ve found this article insightful and take a moment to create awareness around the importance of washing hands.