hand washing

Washing Your Hands: Why it matters Tips

Germs spread from surfaces to people when we touch a surface and then touch our face with unwashed hands. Properly washing your hands is the best way to protect yourself and others from being exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. To combat COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source recommends regularly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly if you’ve been in a public area or have sneezed, coughed, or blown your nose.

Washing your hands properly with soap and running water can stave off illnesses that affect healthy people, as well as those with weakened immune systems. Handwashing can protect you from COVID-19 and respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, and gastric infections that cause diarrhea. Many of these conditions can be fatal to some people, such as older adults, those with weakened immune systems, babies, and children. You can pass on these germs, even if you’re not sick.

Why Do You Need to Wash Your Hands?

Good hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses, from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as meningitis, bronchiolitis, influenza, hepatitis A, and most types of infectious diarrhoea, pneumonia and E. coli.

The most important reason to wash your hands is because of all of the germs we come into contact every day.

  • More than 80% of contagious diseases are transmitted by touch.
  • Hand washing prevents the spread of viruses.
  • Hand washing prevents the spread of bacteria.
  • People who wash their hands five times a day cut their risk of colds.
  • Good hand washing can save lives.
  • All of the above

How to Teach Kids Good Hand Washing Habits?

Most children do not want to take time out from exploring the world to wash their hands. But there are creative and fun ways that you can use to entice your child to wash their hands.

When to wash your hands

Frequent hand washing is a hygiene habit you should practice every day.

Wash your hands after you’ve been in a public place or have touched a surface that’s been touched by multiple people, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following surfaces are often touched by many people:

  • doorknobs
  • railings
  • outdoor dumpsters or trash cans
  • light switches
  • gas pumps
  • cash registers
  • touch screens
  • shopping carts or baskets

You should also wash your hands in the following situations:

For food prep and eating

  • before, during, and after preparing or cooking food, which is especially important if you touch raw chicken, eggs, meat, or fish
  • before eating or drinking

For personal care, intimate activities, and first aid

  • after using the toilet, both at home or in a public restroom
  • after changing a baby’s diaper or helping a small child use the toilet
  • before changing contact lenses
  • after blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing, especially if you’re sick
  • before taking medications, such as pills or eye drops
  • after sexual or intimate activity
  • before treating a burn or wound, either on yourself or someone else
  • after tending to a person who is ill

High-traffic places and dirty objects

  • before and after using public transportation, especially if you hold onto the railings on buses and subways
  • after handling money or receipts
  • after handling household or commercial garbage
  • after coming into contact with visibly dirty surfaces, or when your hands are visibly dirty

Healthcare and other settings

  • before and after treating patients if you’re a medical professional such as a doctor, X-ray technician, or chiropractor
  • before and after treating clients if you’re a cosmetologist, beautician, tattoo artist, or aesthetician
  • before and after entering a hospital, doctor’s office, nursing home, or another type of medical facility

Pet care

  • after feeding your pet, especially if they eat raw food
  • after walking your dog or handling animal waste

When and how to use hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizers are available as wipes and in gel form. They’re a convenient on-the-go option to use when soap and running water aren’t readily available.

However, they shouldn’t be used regularly instead of handwashing, since soap and water are more appropriate for regularly removing dirt, debris, and harmful germs than hand sanitizers.

Using hand sanitizers too frequently can also reduce the number of helpful bacteria on your hands and skin.

Make the most of hand sanitizer by keeping these things in mind:

  • Use alcohol-based products. It’s important to check ingredients and use a sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Ethanol alcohol and isopropanol alcohol are both acceptable types.
  • Scrub your hands. Use the amount of hand sanitizer recommended on the label, and rub it into both hands vigorously. Make sure to get all areas of the hands, including the wrists and under the nails, just as you do when washing. Rub until they air dry.
  • Have some within reach. It’s a good idea to keep some hand sanitizer with you. It can come in handy when you walk your dog, travel, or attend class.

Handwashing tips

Keep your skin clean and moisturized

Of course, too much of a good thing can have negative consequences — and this counts for handwashing, too.

Washing your hands constantly until they’re dry, red, and rough might mean that you’re overdoing it. If your hands become cracked or bleed, they may be more prone to infection from germs and bacteria.

To avoid dryness, try using a moisturizing soap such as glycerin, or use a hand cream or lotion after washing your hands.

Consider your soap and storage

Since germs can live on poorly stored bar soap, liquid soap may be a better alternative. Liquid soaps should be used rather than bar soaps in schools and daycare settings.

Don’t go overboard

In some people, including children, overly frequent handwashing may be a sign of anxiety or a condition called obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Handwashing tips for kids

Whether you’re a teacher, caregiver, or parent, it can be hard to get kids to wash their hands efficiently. Here are several tips and tricks that might help:

  • Pick your child’s favorite song and have them sing it while washing their hands. If it’s a short song, have them sing it twice. They can try it once in their own voice and once as a character they love.
  • Make up a song or poem that includes all the steps of good handwashing and recite it with your child often, especially after using the toilet and before meals.
  • Make sure the sink is within reach of little legs and hands, at home and school.
  • Use fun soaps. These can include foam, liquid soap that changes color, and those that have child-friendly scents or brightly colored bottles.
  • Play a game of thumb war or finger-spell with your child while handwashing.

Clean hands protect against infection

Hand-washing:

Hand-washing is an easy way to prevent infection. Understand when to wash your children’s hands, how to properly use hand sanitizer and how to get your children into the habit.

Frequent hand-washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness. Hand-washing requires only soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (a cleanser that doesn’t require water). Find out when and how to wash your children’s hands properly.

Children Need Clean Hands

  • Help children stay healthy by encouraging them to wash their hands properly and frequently.
  • Wash your hands with your child to show him or her how it’s done.
  • To prevent rushing, suggest washing hands for as long as it takes to sing the song to the tune of Row, Row, Row your Boat. “Wash, wash, wash my hands, make them nice and clean! Rub the bottoms and the tops, and fingers in between.” (once slowly or twice quickly)
  • You might place hand-washing reminders at your child’s eye level, such as a chart   by the bathroom sink that can be marked every time your child washes his or her hands. If your child can’t reach the sink on his or her own, keep a step stool handy.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are OK for children and adolescents, too, especially when soap and water aren’t available.
  • Remind your child to make sure the sanitizer completely dries before he or she touches anything. Store the container safely away after use.
  • Young children cared for in groups outside the home are at greater risk of respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases, which can easily spread to family members and other contacts.
  • Ask whether the children are required to wash their hands several times a day — not just before meals.

      Note, too, whether after using the toilet blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing into their hands.

Always wash your hands before

  • Eating
  • Treating wounds
  • Inserting or removing contact lenses

Always wash your hands after

  • Using the toilet
  • Touching pets or an animal or animal toys, leashes, or waste or common items like doorknobs and handles
  • Blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing into their hands
  • Treating wounds or caring for a sick or injured friends or any person
  • Handling garbage, household or garden chemicals, or anything that could be contaminated — such as a cleaning cloth or soiled shoes
  • In addition, wash your hands whenever they look dirty.

Techniques of How to Wash Hands

washing your hands
washing your hands

Use alcohol-based hand rubs if you don’t have immediate access to soap and water

How to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer   (A cleanser that doesn’t require water):

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which don’t require water, are an acceptable alternative when soap and water aren’t available. If you choose to use a hand sanitizer, make sure the product contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Then follow these simple steps:

  • Apply enough of the product to the palm of your children’s hand to wet their hands completely.
  • Rub your children’s hands together, covering all surfaces, until their hands are dry   (roughly for 25 seconds).
  • Look for a product that contains a high percentage of alcohol. If their hands are visibly dirty, wash with soap and water.

How to Make Hand Washing Fun for Kids?

Stop crying over dirty hands. Are you tired of nagging your kids to wash up? Help them make hand washing a habit by turning it into a fun activity rather than a chore.

Things You’ll Need
• Alcohol-based, antiseptic gel
• Poster
• Sticker chart
• Soap
• Running water

  • Sing, chant, jingle or cheer. Kids need to lather up for at least ten to fifteen seconds to kill germs. Singing the ABC’s once slowly or twice quickly does the trick for young kids.
  • Have older children recite multiplication tables or a jingle from their favorite commercial to fill the time. When they are done with the song, they are done with their hand washing.
  • Hang posters in the bathroom representing good hand washing technique.
  • Blast germs with superheroes. Put stickers of your child’s favorite superhero on the soap container and tell your child that he is going to fight the germs. This is even more fun if you talk the part of the soap hero and let your child be the germs or vise versa.
  • Buy two different types of soap with different scents. Tell your child to wash up and then try to guess which soap they used.
  • Use waterless alcohol-based, antiseptic gel which is much quicker and more convenient than soap and water. Let your kids pick their favorite scent and keep it in their backpack. Use soap and water if hands are soiled.
  • Compete with your kids. Put up a chart and have everyone put a sticker on it each time they wash their hands following the proper rules. Let the winner have a special treat.

A SIMPLE WAY TO STAY HEALTHY

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 child health.

Two Little Hands         
2 little hands so clean and so bright!       
This is my left and this is my right!    

Recommendations

To prevent gastrointestinal disease and any infectious disease few care to be taken to maintain a good health. Which are:-  

A child first learns from its mother and surroundings. So,

  • Mother should be more attentive and focused about their child’s hygiene & sanitation.
  • She should teach her child proper hand-washing techniques.
  • She should help them make hand-washing a habit by turning it into a fun activity.
  • She should encourage her child to maintain regular hand-washing practice.
  • School should give all the materials to their students which help them to maintain a hygiene environment, like proper washroom, toilets, soap, towel etc. with running water supply.
  • Every person should join the different awareness programmes to know the importance of hand-washing.                                                                                             

What Are the Dangers of Antibacterial Hand Soaps & Cleaners?

Antibacterial hand soaps and cleaners make it easy and fast to kill germs. Antibacterial instant hand sanitizers help in environments and situations where it may be difficult to get to a sink to wash your hands. Antibacterial cleansing products containing the ingredient triclosan claim to offer more germ-fighting protection than regular soaps against some of the most virulent illnesses present in modern society, such as staphylococcus, influenza and strep. However, antibacterial soaps present some risks in addition to their stated advantages.

Lack & Benefit

Antibacterial soaps may not be any more effective at killing germs than regular soap, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. The university reports that washing hands with regular soap and water for 30 seconds reduces the bacterial count on health care workers’ hands by 58 percent. Furthermore, antibacterial soaps may have an overkill effect of being more powerful than necessary to get the job done.

Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a serious potential problem in the health care field. Antibiotic resistance means that certain bacteria become so strong that they can no longer be successfully treated by antibiotics, and people who come down with those illnesses will face much more difficult recovery processes. According to Tufts University, antibacterial cleaners may contribute to the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, especially when used by medical personnel.

Endocrine Disruption

Triclosan, the active ingredient in antibacterial soaps and cleaners, may be linked to endocrine disruption and cancer. According to Colby University, triclosan can have estrogenic effects and stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. Triclosan can also disrupt proper thyroid functioning. Poor thyroid function is linked to depression, weight gain, and fatigue and memory loss.

Conclusion

Washing your hands with regular soap and running water is a highly effective way to stop the spread of germs and bacteria, including COVID-19.

It’s important to wash your hands before and after handling food or eating. Regular, nonantibacterial soap is fine for most everyday use.

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