Updated: Oct 31
How Washing Your Hands Protects You Against Illness
We’ve all heard it before—wash your hands. But why is this important? It’s no secret that washing your hands can help reduce the spread of germs, but do you know how exactly that works? Let’s take a look at some of the ways proper handwashing can help protect you from getting sick.
The Science Behind Handwashing Handwashing removes germs and bacteria from your skin, reducing your risk of contracting an illness or infection. Germs and bacteria are microscopic organisms that can cause illnesses such as colds, flu, and other infections. They can be found on any surface or object, but they tend to accumulate on our hands due to contact with other people and objects. The most effective way to remove these microbes is through thorough handwashing with soap and water.
When Should I Wash My Hands?
You should wash your hands regularly throughout the day for at least 20 seconds each time. This includes when you come in contact with any potentially contaminated surfaces (such as door knobs or countertops), after using the restroom, before eating, after petting animals, and even when returning home from public places like stores or parks. Additionally, it’s important to avoid touching your face since this is another way for germs to enter your body.
How Should I Wash My Hands?
When washing your hands, make sure to use lukewarm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (or about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice). Rub both sides of each hand while scrubbing the back of them as well as between each finger and thumb. Be sure to rinse off all remaining suds completely before drying with a clean towel or air dryer if available. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are an effective alternative but should only be used if absolutely necessary since they may not kill certain types of germs present on the skin.
Washing your hands properly is one of the best ways to protect yourself from sickness-causing germs and bacteria that can be found on surfaces around us every day. Make sure you are washing thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water several times a day – especially after coming into contact with any potentially contaminated surfaces or objects – for maximum protection against illness-causing germs! Mothers, patients, military spouses, seniors - everyone should make it a priority to practice proper hand hygiene in order to stay healthy!