Think about all the things you touch in a day. The light switch in the bathroom, the coffee machine at work, the keyboard at your desk, the shopping cart at the grocery store. Think about how many other people have touched those things?
Hand washing is one of the most practical and effective ways of preventing the spread of disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). So why do so many people neglect to do this simple task?
According to the Registered Nurses Association of Manitoba only 1 in 3 Manitobans wash their hands after using the bathroom. Not only should you practice hand washing after using the washroom. Everyone needs to be encouraged to wash hands many times throughout your day, this includes:
• Before, during, and after preparing food
• Before and after eating
• After diapering young children
• Before and after caring for someone who is sick
• After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
• Before touching your eyes, nose or mouth
• Handling pets/animals
• When your hands are visibly dirty
Proper hand washing means:
• Rinse hands with warm, running water, add soap to palms and rub hands together to create lather
• Thoroughly cover all the surfaces of your hands and fingers (including nails) for 10 to 15 seconds
• Rinse under warm, running water
• Dry hands thoroughly with single-use towel or hand dryer
• Turn off the tap with a clean paper towel
If your hands are not visibly soiled, and soap and water is not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (but ensure the alcohol content is at least 60 percent).
Wash your hands often and help reduce the spread of germs.