Hand Washing: Why is it so Important?

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Keeping your hands clean can protect you from germs and many illnesses. It is one of the most important steps to protect ourselves from getting sick. Most medical professionals say that bad bacteria is also essential for the body, but in terms of washing your hands, it may be the opposite.

Bad bacteria is the dominating agent on your hands that causes many diseases and conditions. Your hands carry a lot of germs that can cause various diseases such as diarrhoea and respiratory diseases like pneumonia.

Hand Washing

Thus washing your hands with soap will prevent such infections from getting close to you. However, raising awareness about food and hygiene in order to live a healthy life and seal yourself from fatal diseases must be advocated and passed down to your children. This will build a sense of importance among youngsters. So all you need to do is to wash your hands, may it be using soap, sanitizer or liquid wash.

Accumulation of Germs on your Hands:

Germs like Salmonella and Norovirus are the major germs on your hand and together they cause diarrhoea and it can spread forming respiratory infections too. These germs can get onto your hand after you use the toilet or change a diaper. There can be possibilities wherein germs can get onto your hands by just going to a meat shop to buy meat. Human excreta contain 1 trillion germs and can get onto your hands and this may cause a wide range of diseases instantly.

By touching any object that has germs you are exposed to infections. It can also spread from person to person with just a sneeze or a cough. If all of these germs get into your hands and are not washed away for a while, there is a high chance that it can spread from person to person. Why wait for something dreadful to happen, while you can spend just 2 minutes washing your hands every now and then.

Ways how germs get on your hands:

  • When using a toilet or changing a diaper.
  • Sneezing or coughing may help spread germs and cause infection.
  • Buying meat from a butcher can help germs traverse to your hands.
  • Human excreta contain 1 trillion germs and cause immediate danger.

When all these germs get into your hands, they can be passed from person to person and make people sick.

Handwash: The Best Way to Stay Away From Infections:

Regular hand washing acts as a barricade against illnesses and infections that can be spread from person to person. It’s the simplest thing to do if you perfect the idea of washing your hands whenever you are free.

Most often people touch their eyes, nose, ears and mouth even without realising that there is a potential risk of causing diseases from harmful germs. Germs from unwashed hands have the tendency to get into your body through your hands, eyes, nose and mouth. Germs have multiplying capabilities by consuming certain foods and drinks.

Regularly washing your hands will help you prevent diarrhoea and respiratory infections and may protect your from eye and skin infections. Awareness needs to propagate the idea of washing your hands. Unlike most disease awareness that have been propagated by many hospitals and doctors, hand washing has been propagated in a less prioritised manner.

Also Read:  Washing Hands – The Best Way To Prevent Spread Of Infections

Hand Wash Decreases Antibiotic Resistance:

Antibiotic resistance reduces the acceptance of antibiotics when you’re sick. Your body begins to resist antibiotics due to the fact that the germs have become resistant to such antibiotics and learnt to survive in such environments. Before something like this happens, you need to get into the habit of washing your hands every now and then.

Importance of Handwashing:

Apart from preventing many diseases and conditions, hand washing is said to benefit you in numerous ways. It reduces the risk of having diarrhoea and respiratory diseases. By washing your hands every now and then, you reduce the risk of catching an infection and you don’t have to take antibiotics to battle such diseases out.

  • Handwashing reduces diarrhoea and respiratory diseases.
  • Handwashing reduces the weakness of immune system.
  • Handwashing reduces gastrointestinal illness among school children.

How To Wash Your Hands Properly?

Washing your hands can protect you from illness or germs, but how you do it is what matters. Washing your hands the right way is what is important. Most often people do not do it the right way and this leaves germs even after you had a handwash.

So how do you wash your hands properly?

Follow these simple steps and ensure germ-free hands and stay healthy:

Step 1: Apply a coin size of hand wash liquid on your palm and gently rub your palm together.

Step 2: Then gently rub the back of each hand.

Step 3: Join your palms together and interlock your fingers and gently scrub.

Step 4: Rub the back and tips of your finger.

Step 5: Gently rub the ends of your thumb.

Step 6: Rinse with water.

Simple Tips to Know About Handwashing:

Washing your hands with soap can be more effective than that of hand sanitizers. A hand sanitizer may be a good tool to have in your bag, but this should not deviate you from washing your hands with liquid soap. This is because excessive use of hand sanitizer can dry of hands due to the high alcohol content.

While making your kids wash their hands, it may be a hectic job. There is a trick to get your child’s hands quickly washed. All you need to do is to sing a song and you never know how 30 seconds go.

Note: It takes approximately 30 seconds to wash your hands properly.

When Do You Need a Hand Wash?

Getting a germ free hand wash can be done at any time of the day, but here’s what you need to know about when to get a handwash.

  • Wash your hands before and after you eat.
  • After playing any sport.
  • After using the restroom.
  • After coughing or sneezing.
  • If someone is ill and you have been around them shaking hands

Note: Sneezing or coughing by covering your mouth with your hands may seem like a pleasant gesture but there are risks involved with infections.

Hand Sanitizer VS Liquid Handwash:

If you are in a rush to clean your hands but there isn’t water available, then a hand sanitizer works well. It can be used anytime and is hassle-free. But the question lies in the fact of how effective would a hand sanitizer be in comparison to the of liquid soap wash. Hand sanitizers contain alcohol and must be used as an emergency tool to protect your hands from germs and infection.

This should not be used as a substitute to hand soap wash. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers give you only 60% protection from germs. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, liquid hand wash and water is better than hand sanitizer because it reduces Cryptosporidium, Clostridium difficile and Norovirus that causes diseases.

Hand Sanitizer
Soap & Water
Removes 60% of germs Removes 90% of germs
Dry feel on palmsFresh and oily feel on palms
Does not remove hard stains and dirtRemoves hard stains and dirt
No procedure to wash is requiredProcedure to wash is required

Hand sanitizers have a quick way of cleaning your hands in situations when you finish using the toilet or by touch a door handle. But soap and water comes in handy when you work on an engine part, burst crackers or play any sport. It can also be used to wash your hands before and after eating or anything that a hand sanitizer can do.

Hand sanitizer is restricted to only certain situations, but it acts as an immediate aid towards curbing bad bacteria found in your hands. However, most people who prefer washing their hands with soap and water do not know the procedure to wash it correctly. Scrubbing between your fingers is one standard rule that needs to be followed to eliminate germs on your hand.

World Handwashing Day:

World Handwashing day is celebrated on 15th October and aims at creating awareness and increasing the importance of handwashing by using soap and water. This is an initiative to prevent diseases and save lives. Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Handwashing Partnership to design, test and devise creative ways of having a handwash using soap and water.

Aim: The main aim of global handwashing day is to create awareness among people to use soap and water rather than hand sanitizers.

This day was first instituted in 2008 which involved 120 million children around the world that washed their hands with soap. Since then, national leaders have instituted this idea of building sinks and spread the word a to how to wash your hands properly.

The theme followed for 2018 is “Clean hands-a recipe for health”, that focuses on handwashing and food. This will be based on hygiene followed when cooking, eating and feeding. In simple terms, this theme focuses on how to cook healthy with clean hands.

More than 500 million people around the world promoted handwashing, a major task that needs to be done more often. However, the Global Handwashing Partnership is expecting more people to involve in this initiative that can stop us from falling sick.

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