Jul 14, 2015

Proper Hand Washing and Your Health

Every year millions of people get sick with the Flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov) recommends to get vaccinated to prevent the seasonal illness, that, and also to properly wash your hands. Regular hand washing is one of the best ways to protect you against germs, diseases and prevent the spread of germs and illness to others. 

Proper hand washing involves five simple steps: 

Washing your hands with water and soap is always the best; however you can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer which does not require water.   Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. Hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy. The simple friction that occurs when you rub skin against skin, along with warm water and soap, followed by thorough rinsing, and drying, gets rid of the potentially harmful bacteria.

According to an article published by WEBMD, almost 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch. The CDC estimates that up to 49,000 people die from the flu or flu-like illness each year, and another 5,000 people die from food borne illness each year. And the best protection from this type of illness is frequent hand washing.  We all know we should wash our hands, right? In 2013, researchers at Michigan University conducted and undercover study to see how many people actually washed their hands when using a public bathroom. The results concluded that only 7% of women and 15% of men skipped washing their hands all together. And surprisingly, 95% of people didn't wash their hands properly, Which can be as bad as skipping washing hands. Gross! if you ask me. Washing hands is the best way to prevent the spread of germs. (blog.goodguide.com)

The guidelines for washing hands according to the CDC :

  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. Be sure to lather     backs of     your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails
  Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  Dry your hands using a clean towel or   air dry them.

You should wash your hands:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  •  After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  •  After handling pet food or pet treats
  •  After touching garbage 

Hand washing during a Disaster

Hygiene is especially important in an emergency such as a flood, hurricane, or earthquake, but finding clean, safe running water can sometimes be difficult. A temporary hand washing station can be created by using a large water jug that contains clean water that has been boiled or disinfected. (CDC.GOV)

Temporary Handwashing Station
Source: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation http://dec.alaska.gov

Related Links/Sources:
 Goodguide.com Healthy Handwashing

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  1. I appreciate all who use proper hand washing, this is the best way to keep you away from germs. I always clean my home with green cleaning products with my hands only on weekly basis. I love doing my home task with my hands for safety of my kids.

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