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Hand Washing Simple Preventive Cleanliness Friendly Reminder

cdc-20YP7NENJzk-unsplash hand washing

It all begins and ends with washing our hands. Hand hygiene is mentioned a lot these days with the frequency of hand washing and using hand sanitizer. It’s like one of the first things we’re taught as kids “go wash your hands before eating”.

Washing doesn’t depend on the time of day. Clean hands mean you’re keeping germs out as prevention from getting sick.

From scientist first discovering that germs can bring disease as seen through the passing from one person to another, we have been practicing hand hygiene. Through these advancements we have found what works. So there is a demand in manufacturing more products in these modern times to clean and sanitize. (Awareness calendar).

Hand Washing

Five easy steps. These five easy steps should be memorized if you haven’t already. The CDC refers (Please refer to CDC & WHO websites for current updates concerning COVID-19) to hand washing as a “do-it-yourself-vaccine”.

Wet your hands. According to the CDC temperature doesn’t matter (warm or cold) as long as it is clean running water. Shut off tap and apply plain soap (non-bacterial).

Lather with soap by rubbing your hands together. Be sure to get both front and back sides of hands as well as between fingers and under fingernails.

Scrub hands together for at least 20 seconds (this is the happy birthday song twice).

Rinse your hands good, by removing soap film, under clean running water.

Dry your hands by using a clean towel or air dry them if a machine is available (public restroom).

This should be done each time you wash your hands.

person washing his hand
hand washing with soap and water from tap Photo by Burst on Pexels

Four principles. These four principles should be followed:

  1. When your hands are dirty they need to be washed and always before meals.
  2. You should not cough in your hands.
  3. The same goes for sneezing in hands as well.
  4. Your fingers should not be placed in your eyes, nose or mouth.
grayscale photography of mother and child
Mother washing child's hands Photo by Jennifer Murray on Pexels

Facts about Hand Hygiene

  1. As per CDC washing our hands can keep away 1-3 diarrheal diseases that cause sickness and 1 in 5 infections, including the flu.
  2. Diarrheal diseases and pneumonia are two conditions that could lead to death in children throughout the world. Around 1.4 million deaths occur with children less than age 5 from these two conditions.
  3. We have heard quite a few results from studies of public restrooms. The CDC says only 31 percent of men and 65 percent of women are washing their hands after using. (Yuck, please wash, especially now friendly reminder).
  4. It’s so simple. Washing your hands correctly prevents you and others from getting sick and needing antibiotics. Frequent use of antibiotics builds up a resistance to this medication. So hand washing results in less antibiotic resistance.
  5. Through sneezing, we release thousands of droplets into the air (yes, a lot) and this can be equal to the speed of wind from a major typhoon. A sneeze contains infectious germs.

How Germs Spread

Think about all the surfaces we touch throughout our day and how many other people touch these same surfaces. Yup, so wash your hands and prevent spreading dangerous germs. Keep your hands and you healthy.

  • Germs spread through touching our eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • By preparing and eating foods and drinks with unwashed hands.
  • When we touch a contaminated surface or object.
  • Through blowing our nose, coughing or sneezing into hands ( as well as being air borne) and touching someone else’s hands or common surfaces.

Important Activities to Wash Hands

  • Wash hands often especially now with the pandemic to stop the spread of germs.
  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before and after eating food
  • Before and after caring for a person at home that is sick and vomiting and/or has diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After going to the bathroom
  • After changing diapers or taking care of a child who has used the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
  • After touching an animal, handling animal feed (petting zoo), or animal waste (caretaker)
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

Now During the Pandemic

Make a vow to take cleanliness and personal hygiene seriously. During the COVID-19 pandemic hand washing is essential to help stop the virus from spreading. It is the best way to remove germs, keep you from getting sick and stop the spread of germs to others.

Plain soap (non-bacterial) and water should be used at least 20 seconds or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol before and after touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as well as:

  • Touching your mask
  • When entering and leaving a public place
  • And don’t forget when handling common touch points like door knobs, handles, tables, chair arms, gas pumps, shopping carts, electric cash registers or screens (cashier)

No matter where you are, at home, at work, in transit, or out and about in your community, use soap and water to protect you and your family. (During this pandemic I carry hand sanitizer in my purse or pocket when washing isn’t possible).

Think about it, could someone else have touched this?

After all the hand washing and hand sanitizing don’t forget to pamper those hands. Once or twice a week apply a thick hand cream and use a hand mask. You can also give yourself a little spa time and massage those tense joints.

Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fourteen years.
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