A Hand Hygiene Refresher
Washing your hands is an underrated act of personal hygiene. Your hands touch thousands of different items each day and are often only washed when “necessary”. Meanwhile, our hands pick up bacteria each time we touch a surface. So, in reality, how often should we be cleaning our hands and why?
The Technique Behind Hand Washing
At every elementary school, workplace, and health care centre, there are signs stating the proper technique to handwashing. Yet, the specifics of how to properly wash your hands often evade people’s memories or are neglected. So, to quickly review, let’s review the instructions provided by the Centre Of Disease Control (CDC) for hand hygiene.
- Wet your hands, apply soap, and lather until nice and soapy.
- Make sure to get between your fingers and under your nails.
- Wash for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse until clean then dry with a clean towel.
Reasoning Behind Hand Hygiene
Properly washing your hands can adequately help protect both your personal and the public’s health. This is even more true during the current COVID-19 pandemic. When you arrive home, or even exit a store, you must be implementing measures to remove germs that’ve been accumulated. A community has the ability to reduce the number of viral diseases by implementing proper hand washing techniques. For example, it can reduce the overall number of respiratory illnesses, such as a cold, by 16% to 21%.
Unfortunately, when out and about, it is difficult to find a sanitary method of washing your hands. Due to this, the rise of hand sanitizer usage has increased exponentially. However, are you sure your hand sanitizer can provide the hygiene needed to help combat and prevent COVID infections?
To be effective, your hand sanitizer must be alcohol-based with 60-95% of alcohol. Plus, hand sanitizer with a benzalkonium chloride has been indicated as less effective against certain bacteria and viruses. Keep in mind, soiled hands should be rinsed off to make your hand sanitizer as effective as possible.
Washing Away Coronavirus
The COVID-19 virus is a complex molecule that is difficult to eliminate without the proper methods. Dr. Dickinson, professor of chemistry at the University of Chicago, states coronavirus has a shell-type structure composed of fatty lipids. This makes it easy for soap to break the noncovalent bonds and destroy the shell so it can be washed away. However, we cannot always access handwashing stations so we must look at hand sanitizer as a mobile solution. Hand sanitizer can destroy viruses similar to COVID-19 and therefore is believed to be effective against the virus itself.
Overall, taking the proper actions to maintain hand hygiene is essential. There is a pandemic that is occurring which makes it more crucial than ever. However, hand hygiene is an ongoing practice that can support health continuously. So, here are 3 final tips that will help keep you and loved ones safe.
- Wash your hands each time you leave and arrive home.
- Always take hand sanitizer when going out to use when you touch anything.
- Use hand sanitizer each time you touch your face in public
On behalf of Greeniche, we wish you all the best in yours and your family’s health!
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