Did You Wash Your Hands?

Handwashing at a Glance

December 3 – 9, 2017 is National Handwashing Awareness Week, and we at Hamilton Health wanted to share some informative tips regarding handwashing!

Hand washing is supposed to be a daily routine. You should wash your hands after leaving the bathroom, before you eat and when you’ve finished working in your garden. But a study conducted by Michigan State University showed that only 5 percent of people are following hand washing best practices. This 5 percent are the only ones who wash their hands long enough to destroy any disease-causing bacteria and germs. A survey by Bradley Corporation showed that only 66 percent of Americans wash their hands.

The statistics from the developing world are quite discouraging. One in five deaths of newly born babies occurs due to poor hygiene and could be drastically reduced by proper hand washing. Only 35 percent of health facilities in developing countries have soap for hand washing. And about 760,000 kids under age 5 die annually due to diarrhea, according to WHO.

How Often Should I Wash My Hands?

Many diseases can be prevented with proper hand hygiene. Use clean running water and soap to wash your hands. When both are not available, use a hand sanitizer. You should always wash your hands:

  • After touching any garbage, dirt, debris or after working in your garden.
  • After holding pet treats or pet food so you don’t carry around germs and bacteria that can cause allergic reactions
  • After handling any animal, animal waste or animal feed so you can prevent the spread of bacteria that are present in animal fur, waste and food
  • After sneezing or coughing or using your handkerchief or tissue to blow your nose to stop the transfer of germs that can cause other people to cough and sneeze
  • After using the bathroom or toilet to reduce the risk of spreading germs from fecal matter
  • Before you dress a cut or a wound and after you are through
  • Before you take care of a sick person and after you are through
  • Before eating any food so that germs picked up from the environment will not be transferred to the body while eating
  • Before you start preparing food and at the end of each cooking session

How to Wash Hands

Hand washing saves lives, but that’s only when it’s done correctly. Following basic hand washing rules and using the proper technique will reduce flu and cold risk. It’ll also stop the transmission of foodborne diseases and infections in hospitals and cruise ships.

Here’s an outline of the best way to wash hands as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Wet: Turn your tap on so the running water (it may be cold or warm) can get your hands wet. Turn off your faucet and apply soap to your hands.
  • Lather: Lather the soap on each hand by rubbing your palms together with soap. Ensure that you lather the back of each hand. Lather the space underneath your nails and in between your fingers.
  • Scrub: Scrub your two hands for about 20 or more seconds. If you want to estimate the time, sing the “Happy Birthday” song to yourself two times from beginning to the end. Scrubbing dislodges germs from the hands.
  • Rinse: Turn on the tap and rinse each hand thoroughly under running water. Thorough rinsing removes both germs and soap, which should not stay on the skin for a long time.
  • Dry: Dry both hands with an air dryer or a clean towel.

Come to Us!

At Hamilton Healthcare, we offer family dental services that take care of the routine and special dental needs of all adults and children in your family. We run a Federal Qualified Health Center and we offer health care with special multi-cultural and multi-lingual services. Contact us now at Hamilton Healthcare for family health services and counseling by dialing (717) 232-9971.