A Refresher in Good Old Hand Washing

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You know that coughing and sneezing spreads germs and contagious diseases and you also know that proper hand washing is essential to stopping the spread of these germs. Many people mistakenly believe that quickly flicking their hands under the water and drying them on their pants is proper hand washing. This is just not so.

Most people miss under their finger nails and in the cracks between fingers.  The viruses that cause cold and flu can also live on surfaces such as doorknobs. They can be spread from hand to hand in this way.

Proper hand washing can stop the spread of MRSA, cold, flu and other infectious diseases. It also prevents antibiotic resistance. People who work in medical settings need to wash their hands properly, but it does not stop there. This is something everyone needs to be doing even at home.

There are times when washing your hands is a necessity. These times are after you blow your nose, after food preparation and when they are visibly dirty. Hands should be washed more frequently when there is someone in the home that is ill.

Proper technique is to wet hands and then apply liquid or bar soap. Bar soap should be stored in a container with a drain on the bottom or it will have a colony of bacteria living underneath it. Next, lather up the soap and really scrub your hands. Scrub all the way up to the wrists, between fingers, under your finger nails and do not forget the area between your thumb and the top of the writs. Many people miss this area and bacteria are plentiful here.

Keep scrubbing for at least twenty seconds and then rinse well. Do not let all of that loosened bacteria remain on your hands, rinse very well. Dry your hands with a paper towel and then throw the paper towel away. Use a paper towel to turn off the faucets and open the bathroom door. It does no good to do all of that scrubbing if the person before you did not.

Your faucets, toilet handles and bathroom door handles should be cleaned daily to prevent MRSA infections. Keeping your bathroom clean is a big step in fighting MRSA and other infectious diseases.

Keeping yourself and your family healthy goes beyond good diet and exercise; you need to practice proper hygiene. It is an excellent idea to teach your entire family good hand washing. This is essential for young children and you should spend time teaching them the proper techniques. Take some time to learn this valuable skill today because it just might prevent a deadly infection.


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