Hand washing techniques are a simple yet highly effective practice crucial in maintaining personal health and preventing the spread of illnesses, including infectious diseases like the flu, colds, and even more serious infections like COVID-19. Proper hand washing not only benefits you but also those around you. In this guide, we’ll look at the essence of hand washing and provide the steps of the most effective handwashing techniques.
Hand Washing Matters:
Before we go deeply into the specifics of handwashing techniques, it’s very important to understand why this seemingly mundane task is so essential. Below are the reasons it is very crucial.
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- Maintaining Proper Hygiene
- Disease Prevention: Germs, including bacteria and viruses, can easily transfer from surfaces to your hands. Regular hand washing helps remove these pathogens, reducing the risk of infection.
- Public Health: Hand hygiene is crucial in public settings, where individuals come into contact with various surfaces and interact closely with others. By washing hands frequently, we can collectively reduce the transmission of illnesses within communities.
- Personal Well-being: Good hand hygiene can also safeguard your health, minimising the likelihood of falling ill and promoting overall well-being.
Hand Washing Techniques Steps:
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When we talk about handwashing, it is not just pouring water on your palms and describing that as having washed hands; it goes beyond that, which is the main reason we will take you through the steps for adequate handwashing. Below are the steps.
- Wet Your Hands: Turn on the tap and wet your hands thoroughly with clean, running water. Adjust the temperature to a comfortable level.
- Apply Soap: Dispense an ample amount of soap onto your palms. Opt for either liquid soap or bar soap, whichever is available.
- Lather Up: Rub your hands together vigorously, spreading the soap over all surfaces of your hands, including the backs, palms, between the fingers, and under the nails. Continue lathering for at least 20 seconds.
- Scrub Thoroughly: Pay special attention to commonly missed areas, such as the fingertips and thumbs. Use friction to dislodge dirt, grime, or germs clinging to your skin.
- Rinse: Hold your hands under the running water to wash away the soap and loosened debris. Ensure that all traces of soap are thoroughly rinsed off.
- Dry Properly: Use a clean towel or air dryer to dry your hands completely. Pat them dry rather than rubbing vigorously, as excessive friction can irritate the skin.
- Turn Off the Tap: If possible, use a paper towel to turn off the tap to avoid recontaminating your hands.
When To Wash Your Hands:
Handwashing techniques should not be a routine but a part of our daily lifestyle. While regular hand washing is essential, there are specific instances when it’s particularly very necessary to wash your hands:
- Before and after preparing food
- Before eating
- After using the restroom
- After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
- After touching animals or handling pet waste
- After handling garbage
- When hands are visibly dirty
Adequate handwashing techniques are the principle to maintaining personal hygiene and preventing or minimising the spread of infectious diseases. By following the steps outlined in this guide and incorporating hand washing into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce the risk of illness for yourself and those around you.
Soap and water, preferably running water, are the most effective handwashing techniques. But if no water and soap are available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with 60% alcohol content. Remember, good hand hygiene is a simple yet powerful tool in safeguarding yourself and the public health.