What was the one thing that you hated doing most when you were little? Perhaps you hated eating your vegetables, or maybe you despised brushing your teeth? Was cleaning your room on your “No Fun” List, or how about washing your hands?
Washing your hands may seem trivial, but it’s incredibly important to maintain good health and hygiene. In honor of National Handwashing Awareness Week, we would like to remind everyone that cleansing your hands with soap and water is crucial, especially in the upcoming winter months!
Did you know that proper handwashing can cut the risk of respiratory infections by 16 percent? Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.
Roughly 80 percent of infections are transported by touch. However, if you stick to the CDC’s guidelines, you’ll reduce your risk of developing a respiratory illness or a stomach bug by 45- 50 percent.
OK, you get the point—wash your hands. Follow these tips to shield yourself (and everyone else) from harmful germs.
1. Get Your Hands Wet
It doesn’t matter if the water is hot or cold, but you’ll need enough to work up a soapy lather.
2. Skip the Antibacterial Soap
Most illnesses are caused by germs and viruses, not bacteria. That means antibacterial soap isn’t any better for hand-washing than regular soap.
3. Sing “Happy Birthday”
Two laps through the simple tune equates to roughly 20 seconds. Be sure to rub between your fingers, on the backs of your hands, and under your fingernails.
4. Don’t Mess Up the Ending
Dry your hands with a clean towel or air dryer, otherwise you just wasted 20 seconds of your life. Wet hands transfer pathogens much more readily than dry hands.