Importance of Hand Hygiene

importance of hand hygiene

We as humans innately despise being told what to do, or not to do, as may be the case. Disrupting our lifestyle and habits, forming new ones, especially when they are so hardwired into us, feels so inconveniencing. However, some things turn out to be eye-openers. And as lousy as our attitude can get, these things need correction no matter the age or time of your life. One such definitive modification is that of hand hygiene. Simply put, cleanliness of hands is of paramount importance—especially to avoid getting sick yourself as well as spreading the germ to others.

You’d be astonished to find out how many diseases are spread due to poor hand hygiene. It is estimated that keeping hands clean can massively reduce diarrheal deaths, by up to 50%. And it’s not just diarrheal infections; you can greatly prevent respiratory infections by a simple hand wash. But then again, it’s not just how often you wash hands; a lot depends on how well you do it—the right method to eradicate the smallest of the pathogens.

What are some instances when it is vital to clean your hands?

a) Before and after as well as during food preparation.

b) While you are travelling places

c) Before and after the visit to an ailing person.

d) Before eating any food.

e) After touching public objects and spaces; ATMs, fingerprint scanners, elevator buttons, switches.

f) After petting an animal

g) After changing diapers

h) After using the washroom

While are generally mindful of these don’ts, we very often fail to heed to them, until we fall prey to a deadly foodborne disease and are left with course correction measures. Which is why it is very critical to wash our hands properly.

How to wash your hands properly?

a) Wet your hands with clean cold/hot water. Turn off the running tap and apply soap.

b) Rub the lather both at the palm and back of your hands as well as in the fingernails.

c) Make sure that you continue the scrubbing for at least 15 seconds. At least 15 seconds.

d) Rinse them under clean water.

e) Dry them with a towel or air dry.

However, it is tad too tedious or impractical to look for soap and water method of cleaning everywhere. Therefore, it is advisable especially when you are outdoors to use alcohol-based sanitizer such as Dettol Hand Sanitizer or even Dettol Wet Wipes. It really does the job well. Thus, doctors doling out to us the recurring hand wash advice message isn’t exactly unwarranted. This habit can truly save lives.