Hand-washing still best defense against disease
Published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 23:09
As temperatures begin to decrease, it is becoming more important to utilize hand-washing as a first line of defense to prevent disease.
Temperatures can determine whether or not bacteria and viruses are capable of surviving. When an individual does not wash their hands, they increase their chance of certain sicknesses.
Diseases that can be prevented through the effectiveness of hand washing include the flu, common cold, Hepatitis A, pneumonia, stomach infections, and staph infections.
Hands should be washed before preparing food, after handling uncooked meat, after coughing or sneezing, after using a tissue to blow the nose, and after using the restroom.
Excessive hand-washing can actually reduce the ability to fight off infection.
Over washing will dry out the skin on an individual’s hands. The chances of infection and disease transmission increase when the skin is dry and cracked and injuries are present on the hands.
When hands become dry because of hand washing, make sure to use lotion or moisturizer.
An individual wash their hands whenever they have the possibility of picking up germs that could cause a potential infection.
Bandages should be used to cover open cuts on the hands, as they are susceptible to infection.
If artificial nails and chipped nail polish are present, it is important to make sure that nails are clean.
It is always best to use soap and water, rather than antibacterial hand sanitizers.
Hand sanitizers will not clean hands effectively when dirt, blood or other contaminating materials are present. Antibacterial hand cleaners will increase the level of dryness, leading to further injuries, such as cracked dry skin.
But, if antibacterial hand sanitizer is the only option, apply to both hands, making sure to cover both hands and rubbing them until they are dry.
The most effective steps for hand-washing involve using water, enough soap to cover both hands, rubbing hands together to generate an efficient lather, rinsing hands with water, drying hands with a clean towel, and using a new towel to turn off the water faucet.
To get rid of all infectious matter from the hands, one must wash their hands for about 15 to 20 seconds.
The generation of quality lather with soap and water is possible through first rubbing hands together, moving the right palm over the back of the left hand with interlaced fingers, and interlacing fingers with palms together.
Next, interlace hands with palms together and fingers interlocked. Then, with both palms facing downward, use the others hand to rotate around the thumb of the left hand in a twisting motion.
Clean the left palm while facing upwards, using the opposite hand. Rinse both hands with water, with palms down to let water rinse off all soap, bacteria, and viruses.