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Importance of Washing Your Hands

Deepa Kartha Sep 30, 2018
There are many people who think that washing the hands frequently is a waste of time. However, they are unaware that our hands are host to many bacteria and viruses that can cause infectious diseases. Here's more about the significance of hand washing.
Did you know that regular hand washing is the most essential factor for maintaining good health? Every human being comes in contact with germs and bacteria in their daily life. These harmful microorganisms are present all around us in places like door knobs, faucets, light switches, stair railings, etc.
People touch these things while doing their routine work, without thinking much about it and with the same hands touch their face, eyes, nose and sometimes eat food, too. Hence, the germs and bacteria get into our body, causing several diseases. It is important to know and educate others with the right methods to follow, to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Significance of Washing Hands

Why Washing Hands Is Important

The most important advantage is that you prevent yourself from getting infected by a number of dangerous ailments. People who are careless about washing their hands are at a higher risk of catching a cold or a flu.
Not washing hands may also cause gastrointestinal illnesses which can spread to the whole family. It has also been seen that improper means of washing hands or not washing at all can cause pneumonia in old people and in those people who are diagnosed with chronic diseases.

The Correct Way to Wash Hands

Not many people know how to wash their hands properly. Cleaning hands doesn't mean just running water over your palms. It has to be done very carefully.
Along with warm water, the most essential thing required to wash your hands is soap.
- First, wet your hands with water and then lather your hands with soap and scrub thoroughly, with the soap reaching both the sides of your hands till the wrist and also between your fingers. Then, wash off the soap with water and pat it dry with a towel or a tissue paper.
- When there is no soap or water one can make use of an alcohol-based sanitizer. Take a pea-sized amount of sanitizer in the palm and spread it on the entire hand till it dries.
- Wiping one's hands with antimicrobial wipes or towelettes is also a good way of keeping the hands clean.

When to Wash Your Hands

To prevent the dangers of not washing your hands, it is essential for you to know when it is extremely important to wash your hands.

- After using the washroom at home or at any public place
- After visiting a patient at the hospital
- Before as well as after eating food
- Before and after one starts cooking food, especially meat, fish, and poultry
- After changing a baby's diaper
- After touching pets or cleaning their feces
- Before touching young infants and children
- While inserting or removing contact lenses
- Before and after touching injured areas and changing the dressing of a wounded person
- After collecting and throwing out garbage
- After sneezing, coughing and blowing your nose
Knowing the importance of washing hands will help you in avoiding infectious diseases. People who work in hospitals and other health sectors have to keep a strict check on hygiene and should learn and educate others in the proper way.
However, remember that even at home we can get infected with diseases due to bacteria, and so it's necessary to teach the proper method to our family, especially children. Children love to play with mud and sand, which host a lot of germs. By teaching them the importance of washing hands, you would be taking a very crucial step towards living a healthy life.