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Tips on Hand Washing

by Mika Lo
  • Overview

    Proper hand-washing techniques can help to prevent viruses and germs from entering the body. Hands washed on a regular basis are less likely to carry cold, flu and other viruses, which make you sick. Using some handy hand-washing tips can help keep you and your family healthier while lowering the risk of infections.
  • Choosing Soaps

    You may have been caught up in the recent surge of advertisements for hand soaps that offer antibacterial benefits of neutralizing germs and bacteria on hands more effectively. While these soaps do work effectively, when used properly, researchers say that these types of soaps may actually make bacteria stronger. Using antibacterial soap generally kills 99.9 percent of harmful bacteria but the .01 percent that live build up immunity to the solution. This is also true when you use the antibacterial soap improperly as the surviving bacteria begin to adapt to the doses. Using normal soap, whether in bar or liquid form, works just as well as antibacterial types do and may cost less. These soaps will help you to avoid creating "super bacteria" strains in your home that are difficult to eliminate once they begin to multiply.
  • Proper Washing Technique

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that you use proper technique when washing your hands to get the best results. Do this by first running warm water over your hands and wrists. After sufficiently wetting your hands and turning the water off, lather your hands and wrists using soap. Rub you hands and fingers over the whole surface area of your hands. Ensure that your take time to focus cleaning between your fingers and under fingernails as well as your wrists. All in all you should allow the lather to remain on your hands during agitation for at least 15 to 20 seconds. Singing your favorite nursery rhyme in your head is a good way to get the timing down and is a good way to help children remember. Rinse your hands thoroughly, using warm water if possible. Use an air dryer or paper towel to dry your hands. You can also use a paper towel to turn the faucet off to avoid contact with any germs on the handle. Whenever you aren't able to get to a faucet to wash your hands, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the next best thing. Use this by applying a nickel-sized dollop of hand-sanitizing solution in the palm of your hand. Rub the solution into every surface of your hand until the solution is completely dry. When hands are not heavily soiled, hand sanitizer can be as affective as hand washing.

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