Why Wash Your Hands?
Hand hygiene is crucial for preventing illness and the spread of germs. By simply washing our hands with soap and running water, we can greatly reduce the risk of getting sick and transmitting infections to others. How germs make people sick Germs, such as Salmonella and norovirus, can be found in feces from humans and animals. These germs can cause diseases like diarrhea, respiratory infections, and hand-foot-mouth disease.
They can easily transfer to our hands after using the restroom, changing a diaper, or even handling raw meats that may have trace amounts of fecal matter.
Shockingly, just a tiny amount of feces weighs as much as a paper clip but contains a staggering one trillion germs. When these germs are not washed off, they can be passed from person to person, leading to sickness.
Preventing illnesses and the spread of infections
Proper handwashing with soap effectively removes germs from our hands, reducing the risk of infections in several ways: Touching crucial areas: Without realizing it, we frequently touch our eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs can easily enter our body through these pathways, making us susceptible to illness.
Contaminating food and drinks: Unwashed hands can transfer germs to the items we prepare and consume. Under certain conditions, these germs can multiply and cause illness.
Transferring to objects and surfaces: Germs from unwashed hands can contaminate various objects like handrails, tables, or toys, which can then spread to other people's hands. By removing germs through proper handwashing, we can effectively prevent diarrhea, respiratory infections, and even skin and eye infections.
The importance of handwashing education and teaching individuals and communities about the importance of handwashing has a significant impact on public health.
Handwashing education: Reduces diarrhea cases by 23-40% Decreases diarrhea-related illnesses in those with weakened immune systems by 58% Lowers the occurrence of respiratory illnesses, such as colds, by 16-21% Minimizes absenteeism in schoolchildren due to gastrointestinal illness by 29-57%
Fight antibiotic resistance by washing your hands
Did you know that something as simple as handwashing can help combat the rise in antibiotic resistance? By preventing sickness, we reduce the need for antibiotics and lower the chances of antibiotic resistance developing. In fact, handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrheal illnesses and 20% of respiratory infections like colds. These are common conditions for which antibiotics are often prescribed unnecessarily. By washing our hands frequently, we can reduce the number of these infections and prevent the overuse of antibiotics, which is the main driver of antibiotic resistance worldwide. Moreover, handwashing also protects us from germs that are already resistant to antibiotics, ensuring we stay healthy and avoid difficult-to-treat infections.
Washing your hands properly takes a little more effort than most people think. Here is how to properly wash your hands when providing care for another.
Proper Handwashing Technique
It is important to wash your hands properly in order to prevent the spread of illness and infection. Proper washing technique includes washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, washing all surfaces of the hands including between fingers and around fingernails, and drying them thoroughly afterwards.
Start by wetting your hands under warm running water. Apply enough soap to create lather and then rub your palms together. Scrub the back of each hand with your fingertips as well as in between fingers. Next, scrub the tips of each finger – this is especially important if you've been handling food or money. Make sure to spend enough time washing all areas, rubbing them vigorously for at least 20 seconds before rinsing off the soap completely. Finally, use a clean towel or air dryer to thoroughly dry your hands.
By washing your hands properly and often, you can help stop the spread of germs and disease. This simple habit can go a long way in keeping yourself and those around you healthy.
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It is important to remember that washing your hands with only water does not provide the same protection against germs as washing them with soap and water.
Therefore, it is essential that you use soap each time you wash your hands in order to effectively remove bacteria and viruses. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid touching surfaces such as doorknobs, faucets and other objects while washing in order to limit the amount of contamination that comes into contact with your hands.
Washing your hands properly is a key step in avoiding the spread of illness and should be done as often as possible, especially after using the restroom and before eating or preparing food. Spending a few extra moments washing your hands can potentially save you from getting sick, so make sure to take the time to do it right!
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