The Importance Of Hand-Washing
Hand Washing As Simple As It May Seem Can Help Keep You And Your Family Healthy!
By Erika Laudon F.H.
Imagine for a moment all of the surfaces throughout your home, work, church, and public places that you and your family come into contact with throughout the course of a day or even a week.
Now, take another moment if you will, and think about all of these surfaces within your environment in which you touch with your hands.
Germs or pathogens are types of microbes that cause disease. The Center for Disease or CDC recommends washing your hands in a specific way to avoid contacting and or spreading disease.
When handwashing is most necessary:
It’s not that handwashing isn’t necessary at any other time of the day/night, there are times in which handwashing is especially important such as:
- When preparing or eating food
- After using the restroom
- After touching garbage
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After changing diapers or after a child that has used the restroom
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After touching an animal, before and after feeding an animal or animal waste
Proper Hand Washing Techniques in 5 simple steps:
Wet hands with running water. Running water is best as opposed to a basin of standing water. Why? Because how do we know if that basin of standing water isn’t contaminated through previous use?
Using soap that doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals is best. The use of soap proves to be more effective than using water alone because the surfactants in the soap will lift the soil and microbes from the skin. When soap is present, it has a tendency for people to scrub their hands more thoroughly, thus removing more germs.
Lathering and scrubbing the hands creates friction which helps lift dirt, grease, and microbes from the skin. Microbes are present on all surfaces of the hand but particularly found at higher concentrations under the nails.
The optimal length of time determines that washing hands for 15-30 seconds removes more germs from the hands than washing for shorter periods.
Since germs can easily be transferred to and from wet hands; therefore hands should be dried after washing. A clean towel should be used each time.
How washing hands prevents illnesses and spread of infections to others
- Unwashed hands can transmit germs into our foods and drinks from people who prepare them that don’t wash their hands. Germs can quickly multiply in some types of food or drinks thus causing illness in people.
- Thorough hand washing can help prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and can also help prevent skin and eye infections.
- Germs are transmitted to and from surfaces such as tabletops, countertops, toys, light switches, phones, handrails, and doorknobs just to name a few. Frequent wiping off or washing of children’s toys can drastically help decrease the spread of germs.
- Without realizing it, we touch our noses, eyes, and mouth multiple times a day! Germs can enter into our bodies through our noses, eyes, and mouths causing illness.
Don’t forget that our littles ones need clean hands too!
Teaching children how to properly wash their hands and frequently will also help reduce illness in them!
© 2019. Used by permission