Let’s face it – we’re surrounded by germs. Lurking on every surface and hiding on doorknobs, handles, and railings are potentially dangerous germs who’d love nothing more than to hitch a ride on your hands before making their way into your mouth.
While it may sound like something out of a science fiction story, the fact is that germs are real. They easily spread from person to person and can be picked up by touching contaminated surfaces and by handling dirty things. Even seemingly innocent surfaces aren’t exempt from pathogens. In fact, tablets and smartphones have been shown to have more germs than a toilet seat!
We’ve got to hand it to you… washing up is important. It’s one of the best things that you can do for your health and to keep those pesky germs at bay.
Do I Have Ta?
“Why do I have to wash my hands?” is a common question among kids. However, you might be surprised to learn that many adults have adopted this same mindset, perhaps still resentful from the days their parents stood over them to ensure they scrubbed up properly. More than 3 in 5 people only use water when washing their hands. Yikes.
Washing your hands, though, is one of the best ways to stop germs from spreading. Regardless of what surfaces you have touched – your phone or the toilet seat – your hands are oozing with germs and need to be cleaned.
So, in case you were pretending to not hear when you were being taught how to scrub your germ-catching mitts when you were young, here are a few handwashing tips to get you up to speed – fast. Scrubadub!
Start by wetting your hands. Apply soap and rub your hands together to lather up the soap. Be sure to get the backs of your hands, between your fingers and even under your nails. It’s important to scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Pro tip: mentally humming the “Happy Birthday” song twice takes about 20 seconds! After you’ve scrubbed well, rinse your hands and dry them thoroughly. That’s it. Quick, simple and painless.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet of times when it’s especially important to wash your hands:
- Before preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before or after treating a wound
- After touching a sick person
- After touching animals, animal food or animal waste
- After being in public
- After sneezing or coughing
- After unsanitary tasks
Washing your hands reduces the spread of germs to others and can help to save you from becoming sick yourself. So, grab your soap and start scrubbing. You can even sing Happy Birthday if you’d like – we won’t laugh – promise!
Come clean: are you washing your hands enough?