With viruses like Covid-19 still silently plaguing our society, hand washing has been thrown into the limelight. Do we wash them enough? Are we doing it right? While it’s a skill we learned as toddlers, as adults we may have forgotten the basics. And to help lessen the spread, a look at our hand washing technique is needed.
The Coronavirus is a respiratory disease which is spread when virus filled mucus or droplets get passed on through the eyes, nose or throat. Often, the hands are how the infection gets passed on unwittingly. While doctors are still battling to find a vaccine, one of the easiest things we can do to help is to wash our hands thoroughly and frequently. Here’s the answers to 5 frequently asked hand washing questions.
1.How often should you wash your hands?
It’s thought we touch our face at least 20 times an hour. And, when you think about all the surfaces we touch, you can see how the virus has spread so easily. Aim to wash your hands frequently and especially after doing these things;
- After touching surfaces or door handles outside
- After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
- After riding on public transport and handling money
- After being in public spaces
- Before and after eating or using the toilet
- Before and after caring for someone who’s sick
- Before and after preparing food
- After handling garbage
- After handling pets or their food
- After changing baby’s nappies
2.Does only hot water washing kill viruses and bacteria?
The good thing is, any temperature of water is effective at killing viruses and bacteria, as long as you use soap. Get yourself a good antibacterial soap and use hot, warm or cold water to wash your hands.
3.Is washing with hand soap or hand sanitizer more effective?
Hand washing with soap and water and hand sanitizer are both effective at killing the majority of germs. Soap and water is more effective on visibly dirty hands and should be your go to method of cleaning. Hand sanitizers are also a very good choice when on the go.
4.How long should you wash your hands for?
Experts recommend we should wash our hands for at least 20 – 30 seconds. Even when using hand sanitizer, you should rub it around your hands for at least 20 seconds.
5.How can I make my child wash their hands?
Young children, probably don’t understand the need to wash their hands frequently. It’s imperative to start educating kids early on why and give them a good relationship with the process. If you make it a fun experience they’ll likely want to do it more often. Here’s some tips;
- Set up a stool for them to stand on
- Place a timer next to the sink so they can see the count down
- Make it fun by singing a song with them for 20-30 seconds while washing
- Use a colourful, fun and delicious smelling soap
- Teach them about how germs are invisible
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