Handwashing – Know When to Wash Your Hands
Advice From the Experts of Hand Washing!
Our hands are natural engineering marvels, they give us a powerful grip to hold onto things and, yet they are capable of handling small, delicate items with incredible precision. We use our hands for everything, drinking, eating, getting dressed, driving, caressing a loved one, petting our beloved dogs, gardening, and much more.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that according to research conducted at the University of Colorado at Boulder, on average a human hand carries close to 3,200 bacteria from 150 different species, now, there is no need to be alarmed, most of these bacteria can be categorized as not harmful, but others are cataloged as germs which are harmful microorganisms. The study serves to highlight the importance of proper handwashing to prevent the spread of disease.
This week we celebrate National Handwashing Awareness Week, and as part of our community outreach program, we at Prestige ER would like to share some helpful information on when and how to properly wash your hands.
Dangers of Not Washing Your Hands Properly
Correctly washing and drying your hands is the best way to avoid the spread of harmful germs that cause illnesses like:
- Common Cold
- Hepatitis A
- Several types of diarrhea
- Epstein-Barr, the virus that causes mononucleosis
- Pink Eye
Benefits of Washing and Drying Your Hands
- Washing your hands often this time of year when the flu season is in full swing can reduce your chances of getting infected with the flu virus.
- Prevent food poisoning by washing your hands before you handle food.
- Wash your hands after using the bathroom or changing a diaper can prevent the spread of hepatitis A.
Dangers of Over-Washing Your Hands
While not washing your hands frequently can have dangerous consequences, excessive hand washing is also detrimental to your health.
- Over-washing your hands can cause them to dry out, causing the skin to crack and even bleed, increasing the risk of germs entering your body.
- Over-washing is believed to damage the immune system of small children, by not allowing them to adapt to their environment.
When to Wash Your Hands
Your daily interactions inevitably mean you will come in contact with bacteria and germs, which can make you sick, the spread of illnesses happens when your hands touch your mouth, eyes, or nose. Unless you isolate yourself and live in a bubble, germs are going to be part of your life, but, learning when to wash your hands can prevent the spread of illnesses and help keep you healthy.
You should always wash your hands before:
- Preparing food and eating
- Inserting contact lenses
- Caring for a sick person, or treating wounds
You should always wash your hands after:
- Cooking, especially if you handled eggs, poultry or some other type of meat.
- Using the bathroom
- Changing a diaper
- Blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing into your hands
- Playing with or petting your pet
- Picking up your pet’s waste
- Touching your pet’s toys, food or treats
- Treating a sick or injured person
- Handling garbage
- Cleaning the house
- Using public transport
- Playing outdoors
How to Properly Wash Your Hands
A study conducted by the University of Michigan State concluded that 95% of individuals do not properly wash their hands after using the bathroom.
The CDC has issued the following guidelines to ensure everyone properly washes and dries their hands:
- Wet your hands with water, could be cold or warm
- Apply a generous amount of soap and lather
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, making sure to scrub the back of your hands, in-between your fingers and your wrists.
- Rinse with plenty of clean running water
- Dry your hands with a clean towel or air dryer.
Prestige ER – In Plano and Mesquite
#1 CHOICE for FAST 24/7 EMERGENCY CARE
Germs are everywhere and regardless of how careful we are with our hygiene, there will be times when you or a loved one will become ill from coming in contact with germs. For this reason, Prestige ER is available to treat a variety of illnesses caused by germs and harmful bacteria.
We are available 24/7 because an accident or illness complication can happen at any time. Do not risk your health by not getting help from the ER experts, visit us immediately at either our Mesquite or Plano locations.
We provide the Best 24 HR. Emergency Medical Services near you. Don’t Wait in Line for ER Care!
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