Personal hygiene is one of the most important steps toward leading a healthy life and handwashing is one of the foremost steps towards maintaining the same. The importance of handwashing has been stressed several times, especially over the last couple of years where it proved to be one of the primary steps to prevent contamination from Covid. By not washing hands with soap and running water, many diseases and disorders can spread as our body becomes a breeding ground for different kinds of bacteria and germs.
World over, around 1.8 million children under the age of 5 face untimely death due to diarrheal diseases and pneumonia both caused due to poor personal hygiene. Let us understand in detail why hand washing is important.
- 20% of respiratory infections and 30% of diarrhea-related illnesses can be prevented by hand washing.
- Washing your hands can help you avoid getting sick from bacteria that are already resistant to medications and are challenging to cure.
- Early handwashing enhances a child’s disease resistance and inculcates healthy habits.
- You can safeguard yourself and others from a variety of infectious diseases by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Handwashing requires thorough cleansing of hands and you must use running water to do so. It has also been established that soap with running water is a much superior disinfectant compared to sanitiser. Hence you must always ensure to follow these steps to handwashing to stay clean.
- Wet your hands thoroughly with clean, flowing water.
- Apply soap, and thoroughly lather for 20 seconds (or longer if the dirt is ingrained).
- Rub your hands and wrists spreading the soap all across
- Massage your hands, and wrists and clean the space between your fingers along with your nails
- Remove the soap residue by keeping your hands under running water for a few seconds
- Thoroughly dry your hands with a towel or air dryer as moist hands can also cause contamination.
The life-saving habit of handwashing is an integral part of medical practices worldwide. Whether it is a small dispensary at the end of your street or a multi super speciality hospital, handwashing before and after the treatment has become an indispensable part of treatment. National Handwashing Awareness Week continues to highlight the significance of this fundamental disease prevention strategy. This yearly event takes place the first full week of December and aims to raise awareness of the value of proper hand washing and hand hygiene among the general public.