With flu season right around the corner, many families are doing whatever they can to protect themselves. For many families, simple prevention from handwashing is something that is overlooked. Proper handwashing techniques should be used all year round, but now is a great time to begin implanting good habits in yourself and your children.
How Often Should You Wash Your Hands?
Your hands should be washed often, but there’s no specific answer to this question. In addition to handwashing before preparing or eating food, you should be washing your hands anytime they’ve encountered an activity full of potential germs or bacteria. This may include after using the restroom, handling pets, blowing your nose, and more. If you shake hands or touch doorknobs a lot throughout the day, handwashing needs to happen even more frequently. If you’re unable to wash your hands as often as you should, hand-sanitizer is a great alternative. You should equip your children with portable hand-sanitizers to use throughout the school day as well.
How Should You Wash Your Hands?
Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to wash your hands. You were probably taught how to wash your hands when you were younger properly, but with time terrible habits quickly develop. Follow these steps to achieve the best results from your hand washing:
- Wet your hands with running water from the faucet, turn the faucet off to conserve water
- Lather the soap between your hands. Be sure to get the soap between fingers, under fingernails, and across the back of your hands as well.
- Scrub your hands for 20 seconds to thoroughly clean them. If you need help teaching your children what 20 seconds of scrubbing feels like, have them sing the happy birthday song in their head twice over.
- Rinse your hands under running water, removing all soap.
- Dry your hands using a towel or air dryer. Dry between your fingers as well.
When it comes to hand washing in the home, be sure to replace the hand towel used to dry hands regularly. Failure to renew this towel regularly can lead to a buildup of germs and bacteria that will be spread back onto your hands and defeat the purpose of washing them. Now that you know how to wash your hands properly, you should share the tips with your family, friends, and coworkers to protect everyone around you!