Through proper Handwashing practices, keeping your hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick. As well as spreading germs (like COVID-19) to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not handwashing with soap and clean, running water.
For instance, one of the common sources of germs like salmonella, E. coli O157, and norovirus are feces (poop) from people or animals. Not forgetting, that causes diarrhea, and it can spread some respiratory infections like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease.
Bearing in mind, these kinds of germs can get onto hands after people use the toilet or change a diaper, but also in less obvious ways. Like after handling raw meats that have invisible amounts of animal poop on them.
A single gram of human feces—which is about the weight of a paper clip—can contain one trillion germs. Read and learn also about Self Quarantine | What does It mean in Simple terms?
In addition, germs can also get onto hands if people touch any object that has germs on it because someone coughed or sneezed on it. Or rather, if it was touched by some other contaminated object.
When these germs get onto hands and are not washed off, they can be passed from person to person and make people sick.
What is Handwashing?
Handwashing, also known as hand hygiene, is the act of cleaning hands for the purpose of removing soil, dirt, grease, and microorganisms while especially using a hand sanitizer.
Basically, regular hand washing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs and viruses to others. Whether you are at home, at work, traveling, or out in the community, find out how handwashing with soap and water can protect you and your family.
Parents and Caretakers play an important role in teaching children to wash their hands. Handwashing can become a lifelong healthy habit if you start teaching it at an early age. Teach kids the five easy steps for handwashing—wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry.
And also, don’t forget the key times to wash hands, such as after using the bathroom or before eating. You can find ways to make it fun, like making up your own handwashing song or turning it into a game.
New Handwashing Campaign: Life is Better with Clean Hands
To celebrate Global Handwashing Day on October 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched the “Life is Better with Clean Hands” campaign. This campaign encourages adults to make handwashing part of their everyday life. Encouraging parents to wash their hands to set a good example for their kids.
The Global Handwashing Day serves as a yearly reminder that handwashing with soap is one of the best steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Established by the Global Handwashing Partnership in 2008, the observance aims to increase awareness and knowledge of the benefits of handwashing with soap.
Many germs that can make people sick are spread when we don’t wash our hands with soap and clean, running water.
That is why handwashing is so important, especially during key times. Such as after using the bathroom, when preparing food, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
Handwashing with soap is not only simple and inexpensive, but it can also dramatically reduce the number of young children who get sick. Teaching people about washing hands helps them and their communities stay healthy.
How Do I Get Involved?
People and communities around the world celebrate Global Handwashing Day in many ways.
And by all means, the CDC has developed materials to help you celebrate by:
- Downloading resources from CDC’s national handwashing campaign, Life is Better with Clean Hands, to promote handwashing in your community.
- Learning how to wash hands the right way with these video demonstrations.
- Sharing on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other platforms to raise awareness about the importance of handwashing.
- Helping promote Global Handwashing Day in your community with CDC resources and materials.
- Ordering free handwashing posters to remind everyone to fight off germs by washing their hands.
Visit the Life is Better with Clean Hands campaign page to download resources to help promote handwashing in your community.
When and How do I Wash Hands?
Of course, Yes! Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect your family and yourself from getting ill. Therefore, it’s important you learn when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy. Always remember, it is important to wash your hands often to stay healthy even if they look clean.
You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times (of Coronavirus) when you are likely to get and spread germs. Before I forget, contact your medical doctor right away if you have any susceptible Coronavirus Symptoms.
Or rather, if you’ve possibly been exposed in any way to the new COVID-19 virus. Also, tell your doctor if you’ve recently traveled internationally. For instance, if you’re in Kenya at the moment, please visit the Ministry of Health (website) to obtain their Contacts.
Here is when you should wash your hands;
In reality, clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another. And even throughout an entire community (like in case of Ebola virus).
In particular, from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.
Follow these five steps every time;
- First, before, during and after preparing food
- Secondly, before eating food or drinks
- Then again, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with signs of vomiting or diarrhea
- After using a toilet, touching garbage and garbage bin
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- Equally important, after changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- If you touch an animal, animal feed or animal waste
- After handling your pets, pet food or pet treats
- Before touching your face, etc.
Note: With your support, this list can be as extensive as possible. In that case, if you have more additional points, please Contact Us.
Here is how you should wash your hands;
To simply put, washing your hands is practically simple and easy! Not to mention, it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs and viruses.
Follow these five steps every time;
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Note: Handwashing with soap and water are the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. But, if soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
How to Use Hand Sanitizer instead of Soap and Water
In the first place, you can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.
Definitely, you’ll agree that aside from COVID-19 Coronavirus, the next talk of the town is a Hand Sanitizer. After all, the hand sanitizers on Amazon were overpriced. And as for the past weekend, on Walmart, they were completely sold out.
Fear of the coronavirus has led people to stock up on hand sanitizer. Leaving store shelves empty and online retailers with sky-high prices set by those trying to profit on the rush.
What are Hand Sanitizers?
Hand sanitizers typically come in foam, gel, or liquid form. Their use is recommended when soap and water are not available for handwashing. Or when repeated hand washing compromises the natural skin barrier (e.g causing scaling or fissures to develop in the skin).
Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations.
- Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
- They may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
- Hand Sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.
Note: Although the effectiveness of hand sanitizer is variable, it is employed as a simple means of infection control (pandemic) in a wide variety of settings.
How is a Hand Sanitizer used?
Before applying any hand sanitizer, it is important that you read the label to learn the correct proportions used.
The following process should take around 20 seconds;
- Apply the gel product (sanitizer) to the palm of one hand,
- Rub your hands together,
- Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands, fingers and between fingers until your hands are dry.
What do you think about Handwashing? Please share your thoughts and contributions in the comments section below this blog.
Always remember, baby wipes may make your hands look clean, but they’re not designed to remove germs from your hands. That’s why the CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water when possible.