New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

Health

Hand Washing an Easy Way to Prevent Illness

October 15th, 2012 was Global Hand Washing Day and helped to raise awareness about the benefits of hand washing.

Hand washing can be the easiest way to prevent you or your child from getting sick. Many germs that can cause diseases, infections or virus’s, such as the flu, are spread by not washing your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based product.

Germs can accumulate throughout the day as you touch surfaces, objects or come in contact with other people. These germs can than infect you or your child by touching youreyes, nose or mouth. It is estimated that one in three people do not wash their hands after using the restroom, so knowing how to properly wash your hands and when is important.

To properly wash your hands with soap and water:

1. Wet hands with clean running water and apply soap

2. Rub hands together to make lather and scrub all surfaces of the hand. Including the finger, nails and wrists

3. Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds or by humming the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice

4. Rinse hands

5. Dry hands with a clean towel, paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use paper towel to turn off the faucet.

When to wash your hands before:

1. Preparing food

2. Eating

3. Touching a sick or injured person

4. Inserting or removing contacts

Wash your hands after:

1. Preparing food, especially raw meat or poultry

2. Using the toilet or changing a diaper

3. Touching an animal or animal toy, leash or waste

4. Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing in your hands

5. Treating a cut or wound

6. Touching a sick or injured person

7. Handling garbage or something that could be contaminated such as soiled shoes

8. If your hands look dirty

9. After being outside from gardening or playing

Having soap and running water may not always be an option. Alcohol based hand sanitizers are a good option as they do not require water. Be sure to apply enough to wet the hands completely and rub together, being sure to cover all areas for up to 25 seconds or until dry.

Help to minimize the germs passed around your family and make frequent hand washing a rule for everyone. It does not take a lot of time or effort and it could save you a trip to the doctor’s office.