National Hand Washing Awareness Week – Are You Doing It Right?
Tired of hearing about Covid yet? Yep, so are we. Unfortunately, Covid isn’t quite tired of us.
For this reason, it is still more important than ever to remember an important weapon in combating this deadly virus- washing our hands. Fittingly, the first week of December is National Handwashing Awareness Week (as if we needed another reason to wash up).
Still, it’s one of the best ways to eliminate germs of all kinds, not just coronavirus, and has been proven to reduce the risk of illness. In fact, studies have shown that washing hands properly reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21%.
Washing our hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from our home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals. However many people still do not wash their hands properly, leaving themselves susceptible to germs which may be passed to others as well.
So for the sake of National Handwashing Week, follow these steps:
Wet the hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap. The temperature of the water, despite popular belief, does not need to be hot. Warm or even cold water is still effective. You do not need to us an antibacterial soap.
Lather the hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the back of the hands, between fingers, and under the nails.
Scrub the hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
Rinse well under clean, running water. Ok, we know you are aware of this step, but it is part of the process so we had to include it!
Dry hands using a clean towel or air dry them. It's important to change towels frequently in order to avoid contamination from germs transferred from the previous cleansing. Think about how many times your hand towels get touched. Even if they are not looking dirty, be sure to change them often.