Why Washing Your Hands is Important for Your Health?

Why is hand washing so important? find out why washing your hands is important for your health and the health of those around you.

Why is it Important to Wash Your Hands?

Well, the answer to this question may be obvious, but as it turns out, many people skip washing their hands, even after they get dirty. During the past year, personal hygiene took center stage, as COVID-19 spread around the world, causing a spike in hand sanitizer sales everywhere. If you wash your hands regularly, great! If not, the next article is for you, and it will provide you with some very interesting facts about why it is important to wash your hands.

Germs, germs everywhere!

Germs and viruses can leave on your hands and various surfaces for varying times, causing other people to "pick up" these microbial creatures. Germs like Salmonella, and norovirus, E. coli O157 – which cause diarrhea and raspatory infections are especially common on surfaces and they come from… feces! Yes, that is right… there are poop particles on surfaces because many people do not wash their hands after going to the bathroom.

When you do not wash your hands after using the restroom, especially a public restroom, you are putting yourself and others at risk of contracting germs and viruses that in some cases can cause severe illnesses.

Why is it Important to Wash Your Hands

People who wash their hands with soap decrease their chances of contracting diseases, and it is vital to do so several times a day. Dirty hands can prevent infections as well, such as:

  • Nose, eyes, and mouth infections
  • Infection of food and beverages that you/other people drink
  • Transferal of bacteria on surfaces that other people touch
  • Infection of children whose immune system is not fully developed

So, when you or other people do not wash their hands with soap, they spread germs on their bodies and to other people with who they interact.

To demonstrate the importance of washing your hands here is a shocking fact about infections caused by poor hygiene: every year, 1.8 million children from around the world under the age of 5 dies as a result of diarrheal diseases and pneumonia.

When should you wash your hands?

Frequently washing your hands with soap can cause dryness, cracks, and skin peeling. To prevent damages to your skin while maintaining personal hygiene here is when you should wash your hands:

  • Before and after you eat a meal/snack
  • Before, during, and after you prepare food
  • After you go to the bathroom
  • Before and after you treat a wound
  • After you handle garbage
  • Before and after you change diapers/clean your child after they used the bathroom
  • After you touch animals/handle animal waste
  • After you cough, blow your nose or sneeze
Washing Hands

During the day, you unconsciously touch your eyes, mouth, ears, and other parts of your body, which is why it is vital to wash your hands in the times mentioned above. Even if you did something for a few seconds, like pick up your pet's poop, you are subject to germs transferring onto your hands.

How to effectively wash your hands

Most people wash their hands very quickly, leaving germs even after the wash. To effectively wash your hands with water and soap you need to: wet your hands and apply soap. Then, lather your hands by rubbing them together – spreading the soap to every area, including the fingers and nails. Rub and scrub your hands for 20 seconds, and rinse them under clean water. Dry your hands with a clean towel, paper, or cotton, or use an air dryer to remove water and germs that might still be on your hands.

And what is the deal with hand sanitizer?

Soap effectively removes germs and dirt from your hands, making them nice and clean. So, what's the use for hand sanitizer? Well, during the day, you do not always have access to soap and water, at which point a sanitizer is a great substitute. For a sanitizer to be effective, it has to be at least 60% alcohol; the alcohol damages germs and kills most of them.

A hand sanitizer can be easily carried in your bag, and it will tie you off until you wash your hands with soap and water. While hand sanitizers are effective in cleaning hands, they do not kill all kinds of bacteria, harmful chemicals, and they are not great at removing dirt and grease.

hand sanitizer

To effectively clean your hands with a sanitizer, you should apply the gel/spray to the palm of one hand (read the label for the right amount to apply). Rub your hands together, covering all areas, including the fingers, for about 20 seconds.

While washing hands may seem like a given to some people, others do not practice the habit or they do it poorly. Washing your hands can prevent you and the people around you from getting sick, so you should make it a priority during the day. It only takes 20 seconds at a time, and it will keep you healthy. What more could you ask for?

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