Hand washing with water and soap is one of the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent the spread of many kinds of pathogenic infections such as diarrhea and pneumonia, the major cause of mortality among children. Also, hand-washing with water and soap helps to avoid skin and eye infection and the spread of seasonal flu.
There is no doubt that hand washing is a simple and easy behavior that can be practiced at all times and in any circumstances, whether at home, school or place of work, in addition to health facilities where clean hands prevent the spread of germs from one person to another, and in spite of that some people are careless about this behavior.
When to wash your hands?
- Before, during, and after preparing food.
- Before eating food.
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
- Before and after treating a cut or wound.
- After using the toilet.
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet.
- After coughing or sneezing.
- After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste.
- After touching garbage.
Misconception about hand washing:
Some people may think that washing hands with water only is enough to clean them; on the contrary water alone is not enough to kill disease-causing germs. However, soap gets rid of fats and grime that carry germs.
Parents can help their children to make hand washing a habit:
- Teaching them techniques of washing hands thoroughly.
- Reminding them to wash their hands.
- Wash your hands together with your children.
How to wash your hands?
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers:
In place of water and soap you may use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The product content of alcohol ranges from 60-80%, and it is fast-acting and suitable to get rid of most of the germs on your hands.