When Should You Wash Your Hands?

As a matter of necessity, you should wash your hands regularly and thoroughly to remove dirt, virus and bacteria and prevent them from infecting you and spreading to surfaces, objects and other people. This helps to prevent the spread of illnesses like food poisoning, flu, diarrhoea and coronavirus.
The more times you wash your hands, the better. You should wash your hands:
—After using the toilet or changing a a baby’s soiled nappy
—After handling waste bins
—Before, during and after preparing food
—Before eating or handling food
—After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
—Before and after treating a cut or wound
—Before and after caring for someone who is sick, especially with cold, cough, vomiting or diarrhoea
—After touching animals, including household pets, their food and after cleaning their cages
—Before and after entering healthcare facilities – such as visiting someone in hospital, or visiting the doctor

To wash your hands effectively, you will need soap, clean running water and hand towels and then follow these steps every time:

I. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
II. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
III. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
IV. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
V. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You can tell if the sanitizer contains alcohol by looking at the product label.

Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However, it is important to note that:

– Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
– Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
– Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.

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