Hand washing steps that you need to know for a healthy you
The thought that there could be a right or a wrong way to hand washing never crosses our mind.
Our hands are prone to contamination through everyday things like keyboards, doorknobs, public restroom fixtures and gym equipment. Though it is not always possible to safeguard the immune system against bacteria and germs, keeping hand hygiene in check can stop harmful germs from spreading. Hence, using an effective hand cleanser like Dettol hand wash is highly recommended by doctors around the world.
According to a study conducted by St. Louis County Department of Public Health, improper hand hygiene can be a starting point of foodborne, respiratory, diarrheal and travel-related illnesses. The study quotes that handwashing can cut the risk of respiratory diseases by 16%. It further states that diarrhoea kills 2,195 children every day around the world – more than malaria, measles, and AIDS combined.
However, hand washing is pretty straightforward for most of us, isn’t it? We wet our hands with a hand wash, scrub it for a bit in our hands, wash again, and we think we have defeated all the germs. The thought that there could be a right or a wrong way to hand washing never crosses our mind. The fact is that there are pre-defined hand washing steps that ensure proper hand hygiene and keep the immune system ready to fight infections.
Frequent and proper handwashing with Dettol hand wash is an easy way to prevent illnesses and stop them from spreading. According to a study by Michigan State University, many people take hand washing for granted and don’t wash their hands when engaging in an activity that would warrant or require hand washing.
Another study published in The Atlantis states that 95% of people don't properly wash their hands and even if they do, it's not long enough. The study concludes that apart from the following pre-defined hand washing steps; one should spend time long enough to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice. If that is not possible, using Dettol hand sanitizer will get the job done in under 30 seconds.
Importance of Regular Hand Washing
Doctors stress on the fact that after touching people, objects and surfaces, germs accumulate in the hands. These germs find a way inside the body when someone touches their mouth, nose or eyes. Shaking hands is another way germs are spread to others. Though it is not impossible but is indeed difficult to keep hands entirely free from germs. Regular washing of hands can limit the spread of viruses, bacteria and other harmful microbes.
How to Keep Hand Hygiene in Check?
- Washing hands before and after preparing food.
- After caring for a sick person or treating a wound.
- Before wearing and after removing contact lenses.
- Using the toilet.
- Coughing, sneezing or blowing the nose.
- Throwing garbage
- Travelling in public transport.
- After touching animal waste, feed and the animal itself.
And obviously washing hands becomes mandatory when they are visibly dirty.
Hand Washing Steps to Ensure Health Safety
There are ten easy handwashing steps that make them squeaky clean and free from germs, bacteria and microbes.
Step 1 – Wet Hands
Hum the ‘Happy Birthday’ song and wet the hands completely for the liquid hand wash to do its magic.
Step 2 – Use Soap
Doctors recommended using a coin-sized drop of liquid handwash to cover all hand surfaces with perfection. Antibacterial soaps that contain triclosan are not effective in killing germs; thus, should be avoided.
Step 3 – Rub Palm to Palm
Lather the palm by rubbing them together and be patient. This is one of the most crucial steps of hand washing as the palm has more germs than any other part of the hand.
Step 4 – Rub Back of the Hands
Don’t forget rubbing the back of the hands in a similar fashion as the palm. The right way to do so is by placing the right palm over left dorsum with interlaced fingers and vice versa.
Step 5 – Rub Fingernails
Germs often find a convenient spot to breed inside the fingernails. Hence, it is essential to wash them too for complete hygiene. Use of nail brush at regular intervals also keeps germs at bay.
Step 6 – Interlace the Fingers
The space between the fingers should not be missed for complete care and 100% clean hands. Dedicate 5-6 seconds for this area of the hand.
Step 7 – Rub the Base of Thumbs
Don’t forget rubbing the base of the thumbs when interlacing the fingers. Any spot left untouched may help germs breed.
Step 8 – Gently Rub the Wrists
Last cleaning step is to rub the wrists gently and move on to the next one.
Step 9 – Rinse Hands Thoroughly
Place the hands under running water and rinse them thoroughly to remove all traces of soap.
Step 10 – Dry Hands
Dry hands using a soft towel or tissue for squeaky clean results.
Proper and regular handwashing is the first line of defence against germs and one of the single most crucial methods of controlling the spread of illnesses. Adopting this healthy habit plays a significant role in protecting health and keeping illnesses like diarrhoea at bay.
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