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The Importance of Proper Handwashing

When it comes to spreading germs, maintaining proper hygiene is the key to staying healthy. Multiple diseases, viruses, and infections are spread due to the lack of proper handwashing. Using clean running water and soap is an easy and effective way to stop the spread of germs.

How Germs Are Spread

Germs and bacteria thrive in warm and unclean places. One of the areas that germs run most rampant is public restrooms. This area is a breeding ground for streptococcus, staph infection, E. coli and shigella bacteria, hepatitis A virus, and many other viruses that cause colds and infections. Listed below are some of the most infectious places:

  • Bathrooms
  • Restaurants
  • Airplanes
  • Shared Sleeping Quarters
  • Public Recreational Areas
  • Schools & Daycare Centers
  • Healthcare Centers

While these places may not be locations regularly visited, it only takes a moment of exposure to cause a debilitating or deadly illness. However, with the proper hand washing techniques, illness can be avoided.

Germs That Spread Through Improper Hand Washing

There are multiple diseases and viruses spread by poor hand washing. While some of the viruses can be as simple as the common cold, others can be lethal. Hospitals are a common location where disease and infections are transmitted. While hand sanitizer helps combat the spread of illness.

Viruses are found on almost all surfaces, especially surfaces that come into contact with children. Once an individual comes into contact with germs it is important to take action to stop in the spreading of disease. These diseases, which are commonly found on these everyday surfaces, can be eliminated with the use of running water and soap.

These diseases can be deadly and painful, even in people with healthy immune systems. The best method of defense is proper hand washing.

Develop A Hand Washing Routine

While it may seem like the best time to pay attention to hand washing is before and after using the bathroom, health handwashing practices should be practiced as often as possible. As a rule, one should always wash hands when starting a new task. Having a routine when it comes to proper hand washing is important to maintaining a strong and healthy immune system.

Hand Washing vs. Hand Sanitizer

The use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the second line of defense against germs. Using an alcohol-based sanitizer eliminates several microbes on the hands. However, it is not meant to be a substitute for proper hand washing. Hand sanitizer is meant to be used in addition to hand washing, especially if visible dirt and grease are present.

Another reason hand sanitizer is not as effective as hand washing is the lack of proper use. Not allowing the hand-sanitizer to properly dry will keep some of the worst germs alive.

Establishing Healthy Habits Early

Children by nature can be the biggest culprit in the spread of germs. Unfortunately, children are also the most vulnerable to disease. Caretakers play a huge role in keeping the spread of germs contained. Establishing healthy hand washing habits early is a skill that will last a lifetime. Follow the steps below to ensure proper hand washing techniques and healthy habits.

  1. Wet your hands under a faucet of running water.
  2. Remove hands from under the water and apply soap.
  3. Lather the front and back of the hands, being sure to get under the fingernails. Continue scrubbing hands together for at least 20 seconds. Some people sing the song “Happy Birthday” twice while scrubbing.
  4. Rinse hands under clean, running water.
  5. Dry with a clean towel.

While washing hands can be time-consuming, avoiding illnesses that lurk on dirty hands is well worth the time spent.

While it may seem simple, proper hand washing techniques are not always followed. The ensuing danger of improper hand washing hygiene is avoidable and the first step in avoiding and treating illnesses is proper hand washing. However, treating the illness after germs infect is something AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen can help with. Our center treats walk-in patients seven days a week, so you don’t have to wait for your primary care doctor to have an opening for an appointment. Most major insurance carriers are accepted. For questions, please call 732-583-5100.