During an outbreak of an infectious disease, it is extremely important to wash your hands often. However, if you aren’t washing your hands correctly, you are not going to be able to mitigate the spread of infectious disease. It is important that you know how to correctly wash your hands so you can rid yourself of viruses and bacteria on your skin. Follow these hand washing tips to keep yourself and others safe during a pandemic.
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1. Use Warm Running Water
When washing your hands, make sure the water feels warm on your skin. The water does not need to be scalding hot, you don’t want to cause any damage to your skin as that will put you at greater risk of infection. Keep the water running on warm until you have finished washing.
2. Scrub Everywhere
It’s not enough to rub your palms together while washing. You need to make sure you are adequately scrubbing every part of your hand, even down to your wrist. Get in between the bottom of your fingers, scrub under your nails, and rub the back of your hands. And it is not sufficient to simply put soap on these areas. You also need to vigorously rub your hands together, causing some friction. Soap does not kill germs on contact, you need to add friction to wash viruses and bacteria away.
3. Rinse All Soap Away
You need to get rid of all the soap you used to scrub your hands to get an adequate clean. You want to rinse germs down the sink but you could be leaving infectious disease on your hands if all the suds are not gone. Make sure there is no visible soap on your hands after rinsing.
4. Dry Hands Thoroughly
Dry your hands with a clean rag or paper towel. It’s important that you do not dry your hands with a contaminated surface, so do not use the same hand towel that others have used. Single use paper towels are a great choice to mitigate the spread of illness since you throw them away after using them.
5. Watch What You Touch
After you clean your hands, it is important to keep them clean by avoiding touching the handle of the faucet. After all, you just touched the faucet handle while your hands were dirty, so touching it again to turn the sink off will recontaminate your hands. Use a rag or paper towel to turn off the faucet. Additionally, touching the handle of a bathroom door will also recontaminate your hand. You can utilize the same paper towel you used to turn off the bathroom faucet to open the door handle. Avoid touching high-traffic surfaces as much as possible after you have washed your hands.
Hand washing often is only effective if you’re doing it correctly. With the above listed tips, you won’t have to worry if you’re effectively washing your hands. Make sure to clean your hands any time you touch a high-traffic object or surface.