Why is hand washing so important? Does it really have such an impact on your health?

 

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80% of known diseases are passed on through hands and touch alone; hands are the main culprit for spreading bacteria and this is why hand washing is a useful habit to encourage from an early age.

In this blog, I want to give you all a clear understanding of hand hygiene and, in detail, explain how not washing your hands correctly can be extremely dangerous. Surprisingly, what people believe to be a simple task, if not done properly, can be life threatening.

 

Four of the most common ways bacteria is spread is:

  • From the hands, eyes, nose, and mouth to other people
  • From hands to food
  • From food to hands to food, through handling raw vegetables or meat for example
  • From children to adults

In all of these examples above, you can see that hand contact is one of the most common ways for germs to spread and that is why you should never underestimate the importance of hand washing!

Watch Anna's Vlog about this!



When should I wash my hands?

Consistency is key; washing your hands throughout the day is a good way to make sure you are not spreading any germs! However, to be certain you will want to clean your hands after these following times:

  • After using the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • Before eating food
  • Before treating a wound
  • Before, during and after preparing food

It only takes 20 seconds of your time to ensure you have washed your hands properly, 20 seconds and you could have possibly prevented yourself or your family from becoming seriously ill. Good hand washing is the first line of defence against the spread of many different illnesses – from the common cold, which even then is not pleasant for anyone. To more serious infections, for example meningitis, the flu and many types of diarrhoea.

Statistics have found that proper hand washing was linked to 23-40% reduction in diarrhoea and a 16-21% reduction in respiratory illnesses, like colds and the flu.

Hand Washing and COVID-19

In the last few years, we have witnessed, all over the world, how important hand washing really is. When COVID-19 first became known many people realised that their “hand washing techniques” were actually completely wrong and probably made no difference to their hygiene. Proper handwashing is the best way to protect yourself and others from being exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

If you were someone who contracted the virus during this time, do you think if you had taken 20 seconds out of your day to clean your hands, you may have possibly been somebody who did not…




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