Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to make sure you tackle those germs. A good way to ensure you’re washing for long enough is to sing a little song while you’re at the sink. ‘Happy Birthday’, sung twice, is the perfect length.
When you feel hungry, all you want to do is sit down to dinner, right? Well, there’s one task you should always make time for before eating, even if the food is on the table, and that’s hand washing. It’s vital for us all to understand the importance of hand washing – it’s one of the best ways to reduce the amount of bacteria and germs on our hands, which could make us sick. Diarrhoea caused by poor hygiene is the 4th leading cause of death among Filipino children. Together, we can reduce the risk.
Key Points for Proper Hand Washing
By following these proper hand washing steps whenever our hands are dirty, we can keep ourselves and our families happier and healthier.
Step 1: Use Soap and Water
The proper way of handwashing involves using soap and water together to kill any bacteria. Studies have found that while water alone only kills around 77% of bacteria, soap and water combined can kill up to 92% of those nasty germs. If you don’t have easy access to clean water, don’t worry. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers and ‘tippy taps’ are starting to be introduced in the Philippines, which can make it much easier for you to wash effectively.
Step 2: Develop a Great Hand Washing Technique
Is there a ‘right’ way to wash your hands? Oh yes. Try to get the soap all across your hands – not forgetting the thumbs, in between the fingers, and underneath the nails if you can. Remember, those germs could be hiding anywhere. Experts recommend you scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds to make sure you get rid of as many nasties as possible. If you have kids, try making up a 20 second song they can sing when washing.
Step 3: Think Before You Touch
Do you know what sort of bacteria is lurking in public toilets? It’s best not to think about it. If you’re out and about when nature calls, be careful what you touch after washing your hands – remember, that door handle has probably been touched by people that skipped the sink after doing their business. If tissues or paper towels are available, grab one to open the door with, then dispose of it as soon as you can. You don’t want to undo those 20 seconds of work.
It takes no more than 20 seconds to wash your hands properly – we all have time for that, right? It’s recommended you wash your hands regularly to keep them clean, and always after using the toilet, or before preparing or eating food. October 15th may well be Global Handwashing Day, but that doesn’t mean we can’t practice good hygiene every other day of the year. Stay clean. Stay healthy.