Dirty hands are one of the main reasons for spreading of infections. It can cause a wide range of diseases that includes gastrointestinal infections, diarrhea, hepatitis A, common cold, flu, influenza, bronchiolitis, etc. People who have weak immunity levels like children, and elderly people are more prone to catching infections.
Proper cleaning of hands helps in the prevention of spreading of viruses, and bacteria that causes these diseases. Let us know more about the importance of washing hands.
How Do Infection Spread?
Dirty, or contaminated hands infects a person. There are several ways in which a person can become infected.
- When you touch dirty hands
- When you change dirty diapers
- When you tough contaminated surfaces
- When you play with pets
- When you come in contact with body fluids of a sick person
When you come across any of these situations, it can cause your hands to get contaminated. If you touch your mouth, eyes, and nose with these hands, then it causes the spread of infections. In this way, you can get ill. So, to keep yourself safe, and protected from germs, make it a habit to keep your hands clean all the time.
When should you wash hands?
Prevention is better than cure. To prevent your children from getting sick, then the first thing that you can do is to thoroughly wash the hands.
- after using the washroom
- after changing nappies
- before, and after preparing, and eating food
- after using a handkerchief or tissue
- before and after meeting a sick child.
- after smoking
- after coming to home
- after gardening
- after handling rubbish
- after handling animals, that includes family pets too
- after cleaning the house
- after touching animals,
- after sneezing, coughing, etc.
- after playing outside
What is the right way to clean your hands properly?
You can unknowingly become infected after coming in contact with germs. It can happen just by touching your face with contaminated hands. And once this happens, it does not take much time for the entire family to get infected, and ill. Now that you have known when to wash hands, you need to know the right way of hand washing. Here are a few instructions to wash your hands correctly.
- Wet your hands first with clean water
- Turn off the tap.
- Now apply soap. Rub your hands for at least 15 seconds, so that it lathers well.
- Cover all the areas on your hands that have been exposed to the germs like wrist, back of the hands, below fingernails, between fingers etc.
- If you wear rings, and watch, then if possible, remove them at the time of hand washing for thorough cleaning.
- Once you have done rubbing your hands with soap, you may now rinse it with fresh running water. This will eliminate all traces of soap from it.
Now with the help of a clean, and dry towel, or disposable paper napkin, dry your hands. If you are using cloth, then it is better to have separate towels for each family member.
- Dry the surface below your rings, as if it remains moist, then it could possibly lead to contamination.
- Hot air driers are also a good way to dry your hands.
What are the different ways of washing hands?
Use running water: In place of standing water, use running water to wash your hands. This is because the former option can be contaminated due to use. In regards to the temperature of the water, prefer luke-warm water over cold water as it makes good lather when used with soap.
Soap is important: Some people wash hands with plain water, but that does not remove germs. For effective cleaning, soap is essential. Liquid soap is considered to be perfect way of cleaning your hands than bar soap.
Tips to take care of hands while washing them
Hand washing is a part of the complete hand hygiene. It is important to look after the skin after you wash them. Here are a few tips to keep your hands in the best condition:
- Use a good quality hand cream, or coconut oil after you wash your hands. It will retain the moistness in your hands after you wash them.
- It is better to use hand gloves while washing dishes. It will offer good protection to your hands.
- Use gloves at the time of gardening to prevent your skin from coming in contact with soil particles, and get scratched.
- Consult your doctor if you find any signs of skin irritation.
Also read: Importance of Hygiene
Do not underestimate the importance of hand washing. Keeping your hands clean is the best defense against catching illnesses. The time spend in hand washing can save you from doctor’s visits.