Maintaining good hand hygiene practice and keeping hands clean is one of the most crucial steps that one can take to avoid spreading germs to others and getting sick. The numbers might startle you, but according to CDC, 1.8 million children under 5 years of age die each year from pneumonia and diarrheal diseases. If hands are kept clean and free of germs, it can protect 1 out of every 3 kids from getting sick with diarrhea and 1 out of every 5 kids from pneumonia and other respiratory infections.
Of course, the first thing that would come to your mind when someone mentions ‘healthy hand hygiene practice’ would be washing your hands with soap and water. But, unfortunately, soap and water are not always readily available. This is why you need to get in the habit of frequently using the next best thing – alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
At the moment, the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic and good hand hygiene practice has never been more important than now. This virus affects people of all ages and one of the best ways to fight coronavirus is through the maintenance of healthy hand hygiene. For keeping your clean no matter where you are, hand sanitizer is the ideal solution. This will help prevent the spread of coronavirus and other contagious diseases.
CDC’s clean hands count campaign says that doctors and other healthcare professionals must cleanand sanitize their hands as many as a hundred times per twelve-hour shift, depending on how patients they’re handling. The campaign aimed to spread awareness of the importance of clean hands and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Here, take a look at the importance of good hand hygiene
The most effective way to prevent the spread of infection is by keeping your hands clean. If you have unclean hands, you might be casually spreading certain bacteria and germs simply by touching another person.
- Public places are the breeding ground of germs and bacteria. If you are availing public transport or frequently visit public places like, temples, restaurants and so on, you can get sick simply by touching the different surfaces. Since soap and water are not readily available always, keeping a alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you will make sure that you are protecting yourself after touching a public place surface.
- As mentioned, unclean hands can result in diarrhea (in kids and adults) and spread foot, hand and mouth infections.
- Unclean hands are one of the reasons why the flu spreads faster. Germs can get onto your hands even if people touch you after touching any object that has germs on it. There is always the possibility of someone touching a contaminated object and then touching someone else. This is how diseases and infections spread. If everyone followed good hand hygiene and used hand sanitizer wherever water and soap are not available, they can prevent the spread of germs.
So, make sure to always keep your hands clean and also inculcate this habit in your children. Just to be sure, use and also pass the sanitizer to anyone who you are meeting before shaking hands with them or touching them.
What are the different methods of cleaning hands?
- Washing your hands using water and soap/hand wash is a good hand hygiene practice. It is one of the best ways to keep your hands clean and prevent the spread of diseases.
- Frequent use of hand sanitizer in public spaces where there is no availability of soap and water is another good method of keeping your hands clean. Sanitizers can cleanse your hand and kill the invisible bacteria and germs. But, you don’t need to only use it when there is water scarcity, you can also use it in your home when you don’t feel like getting up and going to the basin or bathroom. When buying a hand sanitizer, make sure that it is alcohol-based and contains 60%- 95% alcohol. Anything less than 60% is not helpful.
As hand sanitizers come in bottles that can be easily carried anywhere, make sure to get a few for your home, and to carry in your car and pocket.
5 places where you must always remember to sanitize your hands
Not only should your kitchen be sanitized, but you should always make it a point to sanitize your hands before you begin cooking. There are some people who start cooking food without sanitizing or cleaning their hands. This increases the chances of causing food poisoning. The answer to cooking healthy food is in cooking using clean utensils and sanitized hands. You can wash your hands with water and soap, and then use hand sanitizer to make sure that your hands are 99.9% germ-free.
2. Schools and colleges/universities
School kids are naturally prone to infections like, cough and cold. This causes diseases like flu and other hazardous diseases that keep kids from coming to school for at least a few days. The biggest carriers of bacteria and germs are hands. Unintentionally or intentionally, kids touch a lot of dirty objects and surfaces that carry germs. So, if you can help your kid get into the habit of using hand sanitizer before and after touching anything, he/she will not just prevent the spread of, but also stay protected against infections. Make sure to put a hand sanitizer in your child’s school bag and keep checking when he/she needs a new bottle.
The same applies to college and university students. They should also always remember to sanitize their hands before touching someone.
Employees spend more than 8 hours in their office, which means that their workplace environment greatly affects them. A clean, safe and comfortable working atmosphere is crucial to increase the productivity level of the employees. In addition to employers taking necessary steps to sanitize the workplace, employees should also maintain hand hygiene of the highest standard to avoid the spread of germs through handshakes. By keeping a hand sanitizer on every employee’s desk, a workplace can be made safer. But, if there is visible dirt on your hands, make sure to first wash it using water and hand wash, and then apply hand sanitizer contains 60% to 95% alcohol. Also, do not use a sanitizer that has less than 60% alcohol.
4. When traveling using public transportation services
Availing public transportation services is unavoidable because everyone does not own a private car or bike. Since so many people are traveling at the same time, public transportation services are all kinds of uncleanliness and one of the biggest carriers of diseases. People who use public transport are more likely to suffer from respiratory illness than those traveling in private automobiles. But, you can keep yourself safe by carrying a hand sanitizer with you. Before and after touching anything in the public transport automobile, sanitize your hand. It’ll also do you good to build your immunity by changing your diet and eating nutritious meals.
5. Camping, traveling and other outdoor activities
Hand sanitizers are convenient, portable and easy-to-use. They’re not time-consuming. You just need a few drops on your palm, rub both your palms together until the solution is dry and you’re good to go. So, you can easily carry it when you are camping with friends/family, traveling or engaging in any kind of outdoor activity.
Nobody knows when the coronavirus vaccine will be ready. This is because vaccines take years to develop, get approved, begin the manufacturing process and start global distribution. The world was already fighting diarrhea and other infectious diseases, and the COVID-19 made matters worse. If you still haven’t taken hand hygiene seriously, it is high time that you should.
Jim Pullman has extensive knowledge and experience in Home Building, Construction, and Design. He writes articles in his free time and partners with content creators to share his expertise with the online community.