Hand Washing

Hand Washing Prevents Disease

As the seasons change and the weather turns cold it is very important that you keep in mind that frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent getting and spreading illnesses. Therefore, the following article provides helpful tips on hand washing that will help keep you healthier this winter.

Let’s start off by deciding when you should wash your hands. As you touch people, surfaces and objects throughout the day, you accumulate germs on your hands. In turn, you can infect yourself with these germs by touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Although it’s impossible to keep your hands germ-free, washing your hands frequently can help limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes.

Remember, you should always wash your hands before:
• Preparing food
• Eating
• Treating wounds or giving medicine
• Touching a sick or injured person
• Inserting or removing contact lenses

Also, you should always wash your hands after:
• Preparing food, especially raw meat or poultry
• Using the toilet
• Changing a diaper
• Touching an animal or animal toys, leashes or waste
• Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing into your hands
• Treating wounds
• Touching a sick or injured person
• Handling garbage or something that could be contaminated, such as a cleaning cloth or soiled shoes

It’s generally best to wash your hands with soap and hot water. Follow these simple steps:
• Wet your hands with running water.
• Apply liquid, bar or powder soap.
• Lather well.
• Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
• Rinse well.
• Dry your hands with a clean or disposable towel or air dryer.
• If possible, use your towel to turn off the faucet.

Although washing your hands is the most effective way to keep your hands clean, sometimes you might not have access to do so properly. In these cases, it is best to carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you. This product does not require the use of water and is an effective way to kill germs and bacteria. Make sure that the hand sanitizer your using is at least 60 percent alcohol, and then follow these steps:

• Apply enough of the product to the palm of your hand to wet your hands completely.
• Rub your hands together, covering all surfaces, for up to 25 seconds or until they are dry.

However, if your hands are visibly dirty, you must wash with soap and hot water to get them properly cleaned. Also, remember to use hand lotions every so often to ensure that your hands do not dry out.

Hand washing doesn’t take much time or effort, but it offers great rewards in terms of preventing illness. Adopting this simple habit can play a major role in protecting your health.

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