How many of us actually do it? I do. Do you?
The English Oxford Dictionary defines Hand Washing as: The action or process of washing one’s hands
Have you been somewhere like a restaurant and had to go to the bathroom before your meal? Have you gone to wash your hands only to see the person who went after you not wash their hands and touch the door handle? How does that make you feel?
There are a couple of things I do to combat that situation. After I wash my hands, if there are paper towels, I will carry a paper towel with me to open the door. If there are no paper towels, I use my pinky finger only to open it. Either I or my wife carries hand-sanitizer so I will use that before I start to eat.
Hand washing has the following health benefits:
- helps minimize the spread of influenza and I hate getting a cold because someone could have avoided it
- diarrhea prevention
- avoiding respiratory infections
- a preventive measure for infant deaths at their home birth deliveries
- improved hand washing practices have been shown to lead to small improvements in the length growth in children under five years of age
Washing with water is not always enough to kill the bacteria that is on our hands. Even washing with hot water that is comfortable to wash with may not be enough. However, washing with warm water and soap will be much more effective.
[su_quote cite=”Center for Disease Control and Prevention” url=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Disease_Control_and_Prevention”]The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA recommends hand washing over hand sanitizer rubs, particularly when hands are visibly dirty. The increasing use of these agents is based on their ease of use and rapid killing activity against micro-organisms; however, they should not serve as a replacement for proper hand washing unless soap and water are unavailable.[/su_quote]
If you are using water, you should at least wash your hands with warm water, keeping your hands down away from the wrists so that it doesn’t splash back to infect your forearms. Get your hands wet with warm water first and then apply a good deal of soap washing your hands from the bottom to the top and in-between your fingers as well. Washing your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds is highly recommended.
I was a Paramedic for 24 years. In that time I have to say that washing my hands was both prudent and essential. Yes, there might not have been time to wash my hands so hand-sanitizer to the rescue.
Something to remember is that when your hands are visibly dirty, you need to wash your hands. Using sanitizer will not completely clean your hands in this case. Whenever possible washing your hands with soap and water is the preferred way to ensure bacteria and germs are not staying with you.
No matter what, it is imperative that you try to keep your hands clean to avoid infections, colds, and bacteria that can not only infect you but others as well. Having hand washing classes with the young ones is a good idea as well. This will teach them the proper way to wash their hands when at home and out and about as well.
- What steps do you take to keep your hands clean?
- How do you feel about others not washing their hands? (keep it clean!)
- Do you have kids? and have you taught them the right way to wash their hands?
- What do you do when you are out in public?
Share your thoughts below and be sure to share this article with others and on social media. ~Tom
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."