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The Importance of Hand Washing

handwashingKeeping your hands clean is one way to improve hygiene but also it can help you not get sick and spreading germs to others. There are many diseases that are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean water. If soap is not available use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands. Here is a list of when you should wash your hands:

  • After touching garbage
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching animals and animal waste
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After changing diapers
  • After using the toilet
  • Before and after treating a cut or a wound
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before eating food
  • Before, during, and after preparing food

Germs get onto hands and make people sick how? Feces (poop) from people or animals is a source of germs like salmonella, e coli and norovirus it can spread some respiratory infections like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease. These kinds of germs can get onto hands after people use the toilet, change a diaper, but in less obvious ways such as handling raw meat because that meat has an invisible amount of poop on it. A single gram of human feces (which is about the weight of a paperclip) can contain one trillion germs. Germs can also get onto hands from people who touch things and sneezed or coughed on them then contaminated the objet and that person will touch another objet and so on. Finally one person can touch that item and pass it on from person to person inevitably getting others sick. Handwashing can prevent infection because people will tough their eyes, nose and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into your body through those things. Germs can multiply in some types of foods and drinks under certain conditions which can make people sick. People touch so many things throughout their days like handrails, door knobs, table tops, toys, computers, cell phones, etc. So washing your hands is critical.

How should you wash your hands?

  • Step 1 – Wet your hands with clean water (warm or cold), turn off tap and apply soap
  • Step 2 – Lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Step 3 – Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, if you need a timer hum or sing the “birthday song” from beginning to end twice.
  • Step 4 – Rinse your hands well under clean water.
  • Step 5 – Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them

Those 5 steps will give you the best possible chance not spreading anything to anyone and also killing any germs you may have on your hands. Please be mindful and always wash your hands! You can help spread germs, disease, infections and viruses.