Handwashing is the number one way to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and viral illnesses like the flu and colds. While it may seem that handwashing is common sense and easy, you must do it properly for it to be effective. There is a certain way you should wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water aren’t available (i.e. out shopping), then the next best option is alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
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How to Wash Properly:
- Wet your hands with clean, running hot water.
- Apply a generous amount of soap (anti-bacterial is best) on both sides of your hands, fingertips, and under your fingernails. Make sure you get under any jewelry too.
- Scrub both hands together while singing the Happy Birthday song or for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse both hands to get rid of the soap.
- To dry your hands, use paper towels if you can. Towels can hold germs. Air dryers found in public restrooms have come under fire recently for spreading germs and bacteria. If that is your only option, it’s better than not drying your hands at all.
It’s important to note that washing under your fingernails and fingertips is essential. People are constantly touching their face, nose, and eyes which causes a spread of bacteria and illnesses.
There are some things you’ll want to consider when handwashing. For example, washing in clean, running water as opposed to submerging them. Washing in a bowl or basin isn’t very effective because the water can contain bacteria and grow there. If your running water is affected by a natural disaster, it’s still safer to use as long as soap is included.
After you wash your hands, you’ll want to avoid touching any dirty surfaces like doorknobs, toilet handles, or the faucet handle. Instead, use a paper towel, your sleeve, or gloves to avoid the spread of germs.
When Should I Wash My Hands?
Washing your hands frequently throughout the day is a part of good hygiene. It’s even more important to do so during a virus outbreak. While you should always be handwashing, there are times when you should especially wash your hands.
- Before you cook or eat.
- After using the bathroom in public and at home.
- After returning home from a public venture (shopping, school, work, hospitals, etc.)
- After shaking hands, especially during cold and flu season.
- Before and after caring for a sick loved one.
- Before and after treating a wound.
- After you handle an animal or pet food.
- After taking out the trash.
- After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
Note: Coughing and sneezing should be done into your elbow or tissue instead of hands.
- After touching public surfaces or money.
- After caring for a child that’s not potty-trained.
- After putting on your shoes.
Should I use Hand Sanitizer?
While handwashing is the best to prevent illnesses, hand sanitizer helps prevent the spread of viruses and germs. It’s important that you use alcohol-based sanitizer at a minimum of 60%. If you are in a public setting where you don’t have access to clean water and soap, it’s a great alternative. You can check out our quality hand sanitizer here. When using sanitizer, apply a generous amount and make sure both sides of your hands and fingertips are covered. Make sure to keep hand sanitizer out the reach of children since it’s poisonous when consumed.
Also see where to buy hand sanitizer online.