According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for disease control and prevention, 40 million Americans contract illnesses every year due to the bacteria on the hands, and around 80 thousand of them die of these illnesses.
Looking at these alarming facts, one can conclude that it is very important to keep one's hands thoroughly washed and clean at all times, to prevent illnesses and infectious diseases. It is also important to inculcate this habit in children at an early age, so that, it becomes a way of life for them.
- Around 2 to 10 million bacteria can be found between our fingertips and elbows.
- After a person uses a toilet, the number of germs that are there on his fingertips, doubles.
- According to a 2007 survey, Harris Interactive, only 77% of the people actually wash their hands after they use a public restroom. Men are much more likely to skip washing their hands after using a toilet than women.
- If the hands are either wet or damp, they can spread germs thousand times more than dry hands.
- The germs have the capacity to stay alive on your hands for about three hours.
- Millions of germs get accumulated under the bracelets, watches, and rings that a person might be wearing.
- People who are right-handed, do not wash their right hand as thoroughly as their left hand.
- According to U.S. Centers for disease control and prevention, 80% of all infections get transmitted through the hands.
Tips for Kids and Adults
When to Wash Hands
- Hands should be washed before preparing food as well as prior to eating food.
- Hands should also be washed after a contaminated object or a dirty, germ-infested surface has been touched.
- Hands should be washed before and after meeting a person, who is suffering from any contagious disease.
- Washing hands is extremely necessary after using a bathroom.
- They should be washed even after changing the baby's diaper.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing.
- Hands should be properly cleaned after a person has touched an animal or its waste.
- Cleaning of hands is compulsory after an open wound has been touched.
- Hands should be washed after touching garbage.
Procedure to Wash Hands
- Start with wetting your hands with water.
- Apply a good amount of soap.
- Rub your hands against each other for about twenty seconds, so that the soap and its lather spreads on all the parts of the hands.
- Rinse with water thoroughly and dry with a towel or forced air.
In case, soap and water are unavailable, a good alternative to wash hands is ethanol, either in foam or gel form, or a hand sanitizer, which is alcohol based. It can be rubbed on all the parts of the hands and it works equally well as any soap to clean the hands.
Researches have shown that, if the hands are washed properly, then incidences of respiratory as well as digestive diseases, which are infectious, can go down, and save a lot of lives. Thus, it becomes the duty of each and every person to learn from these facts, and keep their hands clean and hygienic to lead a disease-free and healthy life.