The Importance of Hand Hygiene
If you’re a parent, you’ve likely uttered the words “wash your hands….with soap”. It’s important to add the “with soap” because otherwise it might not occur to your child that washing his or her hands requires it!
For an eight year old, soap might be required simply to remove the grime from the day’s adventures, but there’s more to the story than looking squeaky clean. Invisible enemies are lurking: germs, viruses, parasites and bacteria. Washing your hands often and properly will help keep them at bay.
The fact is, all of these pathogens spread from your hands to everything you touch – including your eyes, nose and mouth. People frequently touch this area of the face without even realizing it. One study found the hand touched the eyes/nose/mouth an average of 19 times in two hours. That’s a lot of opportunities for those nasty bacteria to make their way into your body. Of course, your hands touch many other things throughout the day, spreading those pathogens to other people who will then touch the same door handle, phone or remote.
Health professionals recommend washing your hands before you eat, after handling raw meat, using the bathroom, changing a diaper and any other situation where you might come into contact with bacteria. It’s estimated that hand washing reduces diarrhea by 23-40%, respiratory illnesses (like colds) by 16-21% and gastrointestinal illness in school children by 29-57%.
With these numbers, it’s no wonder parents are asking their kids about using soap. It’s important to teach good habits at a young age!
If you’ve fallen into the habit of a quick rinse, let’s review the proper way to wash your hands.
- First, wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Our Deb Clear Foam Soap is a great option for many organizations that have a fragrance-free policy. The hypoallergenic formula is gentle your skin. This foam hand cleanser gently cleans your hands, leaving them feeling naturally refreshed.
- Once you’ve applied the soap, lather your hands by rubbing them together. It’s important to include the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
- Scrub your hands for minimum 20 seconds. This is the step most people skip, as it takes a bit longer. If you need a reminder, try singing the alphabet song in your head. It should take you about 20 seconds and then its time to rinse your hands under clean, running water.
- Be sure to dry your hands properly. This step is often skipped or executed poorly but is nearly as important as washing your hands in the first place! Ideally, it’s best to use paper towel like our Cascades PRO. The one-at-a-time dispensing helps minimize cross contamination and waste, while combining value and efficiency.
To discover the best tools to keep your staff’s hands clean and everyone else healthy, contact Checkers today. We can help you assess your needs and properly equip your facility. Checkers is your clean resource.