Person showing proper hand washing to protect from COVIDHere is what you need to know with COVID-19 sticking around much longer than anticipated and flu season rolling around the corner. This is a good reminder on how to wash your hands to keep you and your loved ones safe. You can do something to protect yourself and family from germs: wash your hands.  “Hand-washing — with soap and water — is a far more powerful weapon against germs than many of us realize.

In this article we will tell you how hand washing works,  how to wash your hands, when to wash your hands, and some things you might be doing wrong.  

How does infection happen?

Infection is simply having a germ living in you. It means that a germ from somewhere outside of you, gets into you and is multiplying.  

It can get into you when you touch your face, or mouth. They can get in to you and eat something that has germs on it.  

How does hand-washing work?

According to Webmd, hand-washing removes germs from your hands and soap breaks down infectious material. Digging a little deeper, hand washing causes viruses and bacteria fall off your hands. In addition, soap dissolves the protective layer around the Coronavirus. When that protective layer breaks down, it makes the virus vulnerable.

How to wash your hands

These are the Center of Disease Control’s guidelines for washing your hands:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

When should we wash our hands?

These are the Center of Disease Control’s guidelines for when to wash your hands:

First, you should wash your hands when being in public and when you come home from the public.

Washing our hands is important even beyond the Coronavirus:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste

What do people do wrong?

According to WebMD, there are mistakes people make when washing their hands.

People don’t wash their hands long enough. How long is 20 seconds? The answer, it is about the length of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday.  

The bottom line is you probably aren’t washing your hands for 20 seconds. We recommend setting a timer with your phone or Alexa. By setting a timer, you know you have spent the correct amount of time under water.

Bar soap harbors bacteria. Soap bars provide a surface for microbes to live on. It is best to rinse the soap and then wash your hands.

Be sure to wash your entire hand. People will often only wash their upper palms and fingers. People forget about the back of their hands and their lower palms. That leaves much space for microbes to stay on.

While you use your fingers and palms for most of the time, you touch your face with the back of your palm more frequently than you imagine. For instance, you probably wipe sweat off your brow with the back of your hand. Additionally, when you rub your mouth it is probably with the spot on the back of your hand between your forefinger and thumb. Do your part and keep your hands clean!

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