London-based researchers have found that, if everyone routinely washed their hands, up to a million deaths a year could be prevented. Let’s get washing!
When to Wash Your Hands
Although it takes less than a minute to wash your hands, we often skip over this important health task because we need to move on to do something else. You should be washing your hands at least six times a day. This is when washing your hands is non-negotiable:
- After you’ve been to the toilet.
- Before, during, and after, you prepare food.
- Before a meal.
- Before and after caring for a sick person or treating a wound.
- After changing a child’s nappy or helping them go to the toilet.
- After blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing.
- After touching, feeding, or cleaning up after your pets and other animals.
- After cleaning up or handling garbage.
The Right Way to Wash
Of course, there’s a right way, and a wrong way, to wash your hands. Here are the recommended guidelines for handwashing:
- Wet your hands and apply just enough soap to work up a good lather. If you’re using handwash, a coin-sized amount is enough!
- Rub your palms together, and then rub the back of each hand,
- Rub both your hands while interlocking your fingers – this will get the soap and water into every part of your hands
- Rub the soap into the back and tips of your fingers.
- Rub your thumbs and your wrists.
- Do a quick check to see if any dirt remains.
The Handwashing Song
Turning the task of handwashing into a game for your kids can help! If your kids often forget to wash their hands, turn it into a game! You can do this by:
- Installing a kitchen timer in the bathroom and set it to go off after 20 to 30 seconds, every time your child washes their hands.
- Teaching them to sing “Happy Birthday” twice, while washing their hands.
- Turning handwashing into a star chart or reward activity. After 20 handwashes are recorded, they get to enjoy an extra episode of Paw Patrol!
LifeDoc Can Help
For extra advice on handwashing and hygiene, chat to your family doctor. LifeDoc ™ can help. LifeDoc ™ helps you take charge of your personal health information, making it easier to keep track of appointments and schedule those important check-ups, while securely storing your personal medical history. Register here or like the LifeDoc™ Facebook page for regular updates. You can also stay on track with LifeDoc™ developments on Twitter.