How To Wash Your Hands Properly?

Why Handwashing is important?

Several infectious diseases can be spread from one person to another by contaminated hands and handwashing has always been an important defense against these bacteria and viruses.

Now, during the current coronavirus pandemic, it’s even more important to wash your hands properly to prevent the spread of the viruses that cause COVID-19 disease.

The COVID-19 virus can live for hours or even days on different surfaces, so washing your hands properly is the best way to protect yourself from introducing the virus to your respiratory canal.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends to scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, especially if you’ve been in a public setting or have sneezed, coughed, or blown your nose.

When to wash your hands?

When you got in public places, you touch people, surfaces and objects throughout the day, and gets accumulated with germs on your hands. You can get infected with these germs and viruses by touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Washing your hands frequently is the only way to limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes into your body.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking extra precautions:

  • After being in a public place.
  • After touching a surface like doorknobs, tables, handles, shopping carts, etc.
  • Before touching your face.

And always wash your hands:

  • Before and after preparing food or eating.
  • Before and after giving medical care like treating wounds.
  • Before and after using the toilet or bathroom.
  • Before Inserting or removing contact lenses.
  • After touching an animal, animal feed or waste.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • After handling garbage.
  • After handling animals.
  • After smoking.
  • After handling pet food or pet treats.

You should also wash your hands and change your clothes after you return home from public settings.

How to wash your hands Properly

Follow these steps:

    1. Wet your hands with water — either warm or cold and apply soap.
    2. Lather your hands well, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
    3. Scrub your hands firmly for at least 20 seconds.
    4. Rinse well under the running water.
    5. Dry your hands with a clean towel or you can use air-dry.

This is the best way to wash your hands with soap and water.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer:

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a good alternative to disinfect your hands when soap and water aren't available like in case of travelling or office. But if you use a hand sanitizer, make sure the product contains at least 60% alcohol.

Follow these steps:

  • Apply appropriate amount of gel product to the palm of one hand.
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Make sure to apply the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands get dry.

Pros of hand sanitizer:

  • It kills germs-Alcohol has the ability to kill germs and bacteria.
  • Accessibility-When you don’t have access to soap and water, hand sanitizer can help to sanitise your hands.
  • It’s cost-effective and long-lasting- Most of the hand sanitizers are relatively inexpensive and have a life of at least 2-3 years.

Cons of hand sanitizer:

  • Some brands are ineffective-Some brands have not 60 per cent alcohol concentration, while it is the minimum requirement to effectively kill viruses.
  • Can't be used on grime-Hand sanitizers are not effective against removing any bodily fluids, grease, dirt or blood from hands.
  • Weakens immunity to germs-Researchers say that frequent use of hand sanitizer will cause a resistance to both good and bad bacteria, which could hurt your immune system in fighting off infections.

Kids and Handwashing:

In this time of the pandemic, your first priority should be to protect your child from germs and viruses, teach them about the virus and encouraging them to wash their hands frequently. Always wash your hands with your child to show him or her how it's done.

To prevent rushing, suggest your children sing "Happy Birthday" song or "twinkle twinkle" song while washing hands. And if your child can't reach the sink, then keep a step stool for there comfort.

Be sure to supervise your kid while using an alcohol-based hand sanitizers, because swallowing the sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning. After use store the sanitizers safely away from the reach of your kid.