The Importance of Washing Your Hands
Chances are, the current COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to influence your life in a big way. More than ever, this is a time for personal responsibility. The importance of washing your hands cannot be overstated. It is simply one of the best layers of protection we have for protecting ourselves and our families.
Understanding the Importance of Washing Your Hands
Even beyond the coronavirus, washing your hands should always be your first line of defense against germs. It is the easiest thing you can do to avoid being exposed to infection.
According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus is most often spread from person to person. This applies most to people who have been in close contact with each other (roughly six feet). Additionally, it is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can infect if someone nearby inhales them.
Besides keeping a safe distance from other people, a practice frequently called “social distancing,” one of the best ways you can prevent the spread of infection is by thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water. You see, we all touch each other, and the same surfaces as one another, all day. That includes our mail, tables, doorknobs, railings… you name it! As we go about our day, we begin to accumulate germs on our hands. Sooner or later, an infected person will touch their face, or come in contact with someone else, with their infected hands.
The world is simply too dirty to ever avoid germs, microbes or bacteria all together. Therefore, we need to do our due diligence. Frequent and proper hand washing can help to limit your exposure to infection.
That goes for parents as well as children. We’ve written a whole article about keeping kids safe from germs during flu season. Now let’s take a closer look at the importance of washing your hands.
How to Properly Wash Your Hands:
- Wet your hands with warm, clean water.
- Apply and lather up with plenty of soap. Don’t forget to get the back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails, too. It’s critical that you don’t miss any of the little nooks and crannies where germs love to hide.
- Now that your hands are covered with soap, it’s time to scrub. Scrub your hands for 20 full seconds. If you’re helping a child, make a game out of washing. You should wash long enough to slowly repeat the alphabet or sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
- It’s time to rinse off those hands! Rinse under more warm, running water.
- You’re done! Dry your hands using a clean towel. Be sure not to use a dirty towel or cloth. You’ll just end up covering yourself in more germs!
To help spread this message, feel free to share this handy graphic we’ve created:
Do your part to share with your friends, neighbors and family the importance of washing one’s hands!
When to Wash Your Hands
As we mentioned, washing your hands should be done frequently. First of all, any time they are visibly dirty, it’s time to clean. However, here are some other appropriate times to wash up:
- Before and after cooking
- Changing contact lenses
- After using the restroom
- Before and after changing a baby’s diaper
- After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
- Taking out the garbage
- Before and after treating wounds
These are just a few reasons to stay fresh and clean. Use your common sense and remind others to do so, as well. If we all work together, we’ll work through these tough days. Everyone just needs to stay vigilant.