The arrival of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), has forced us all to closely examine our hygiene practices. Let’s face it, we all pretty much assume we have the whole hand washing thing down pat, right? Bit of soap, add some water and scrub – how hard can it be?
Washing your hands effectively is incredibly important to prevent the spread of a range of diseases, including COVID-19. Your hands might not look dirty, but believe it or not, your hands are crawling with a variety of bacteria and viruses, some of which could make you sick.
Washing your hands is the most effective way to rid yourself of any potential nasties lurking on your hands. In fact, according to Harvard Medical School, washing your hands with warm soapy water for 30 seconds can reduce the bacterial count on your hands by as much as 58%! If you couple that with using a hand sanitiser with an alcohol content of 60-90 percent, your bacterial count will be reduced by a whopping 83%!
Common sense should prevail when deciding if you need to wash your hands; however, given the current outbreak of COVID-19, washing your hands a little more frequently than perhaps you would otherwise, could go a long way in minimising your risk of infection.
That said, some obvious times to wash your hands include:
In addition, to help stop the spread of COVID-19, it is beneficial to also clean your hands:
Washing for at least 30 seconds is the best way to protect yourself from bacteria and viruses lurking on your hands. Start by wetting your hands with some warm water. Add some soap and rub the palms of your hands briskly together to create a lather. Make sure to scrub each finger and thumb individually, being careful to also clean under your fingernails and around any jewellery you wear.
Remember when you were a child? Thirty seconds felt like a lifetime! Make washing hands fun for your child by encouraging them to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice whilst they scrub or practice the alphabet song twice over to mix it up. Perhaps they have a favourite song or one they know from school that they would like to scrub along to.
Choosing a nice smelling anti-bacterial soap that makes a nice thick layer of bubbles will make the experience much more enjoyable too.
Hand sanitisers containing 60-90 percent alcohol are the most effective at combating germs left on your skin after you’ve scrubbed them. Whilst not compulsory (and at this point in time somewhat difficult to come by!), they will help to further minimise your risk of infection – and they are handy to have if you need to wash whilst on the go.