Incorrect, incomplete hand washing leaves many germs on the skin intact. These may cause infectious diseases. We list the correct hand washing technique for you and your loved ones.
You wouldn’t believe it if we told you that your frequent bouts of cold and stomach upset were probably caused by your hands. Think about it – if you are careful about your diet and take care not to sneeze or cough unless you have a tissue, what could be the reason for your illness? Your hands could be the culprit.
The hands touch several surfaces in the course of a day. From the time you wake up and touch the bathroom door knob to the time you fall asleep after checking your phone, your hands are in contact with many different surfaces. These same surfaces are touched by others as well, whether at home or outside. If any of these people are sick with flu or cold/cough, or even with stomach ailments like gastroenteritis and diarrhoea, then they can pass on their germs to others simply by touching these common surfaces.
And thus, you end up touching them and getting germs on your hands.
Clean hands: The gateway to good health
However, things are not as dire as they first appear. You can break the cycle of germ transfer from person to surface, and from person to person, by maintaining the highest levels of hand hygiene.
The simple steps of hand washing many times a day using a good antibacterial soap will keep you and your family members safe from infectious diseases. You might think that you wash your hands often – but maybe not often enough. Also, it won’t do to simply run your hands under water and wash them with a bit of soap. You must follow the correct handwashing procedure as outlined below, to rid the skin of germs.
The correct steps of hand washing
This is how you wash your hands:
- Rinse your hands under cold running water.
- Take a dollop of liquid hand wash soap on your palm, and rub both hands together. Scour your palms with your nails and wash the webbing of skin between your fingers as well. Do this for one whole minute, or for the duration of time that it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’.
- An antibacterial hand wash kills up to 99.9% germs on the skin. Washing your hands with this soap ensures that infectious germs are killed at once and not passed around.
- Wash off the soap lather under running water, taking care to see that the hands are thoroughly suds-free.
- Wipe your hands on a fresh paper towel, and discard it in the trash. If the hands are still damp, let them air dry thoroughly before you touch any surface.
Follow these hand washing steps every time you wash your hands. Teach your children to wash their hands using this method as well, to keep them germ- and disease-free. Doctors and hygiene experts recommend that you should wash your hands thoroughly a minimum of 7 times a day. Use a good hand washing soap every time.