Importance of Proper Handwashing

Why is handwashing important?

Handwashing with soap is the number one way to remove germs from your hands and up to your forearms if you done properly. People frequently touch their face and germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and the mouth. Washing your hands limits the amount of germs that can cross these mucous membranes. Germs from unwashed hands can also get into your food and drinks causing foodborne illnesses. Most importantly, a person can pick up germs from touching items that another person may have touched and transfer the viruses onto themselves.

How to properly wash your hands in 5 steps

  1. Wet your hands with clean, warm water.
  2. Apply soap and lather your hands by rubbing them together. 
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, you can sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice to account for 20 seconds.
  4. Make sure you grab each thumb and wash around your thumbs, then bend your fingers into the palm of your hands to wash under your nails.
  5. Rinse your hands well under clean, warm water ensuring no soap residue remains.
  6. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. 

Although it is quick to sanitize, this only cleans the hands temporarily. The most efficient way to remove germs, again is to use the proper handwashing technique listed above. 

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