Answering common questions about hand washing – Understanding just how hand washing works may help people better understand how this simple gesture can potentially save so many lives.
Answering common questions about hand washing
Prior to 2020, people may never have imagined they would devote so much of their focus to hand washing. But hand washing took center stage in 2020, as organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention touted it as an important safety measure against the COVID-19 virus.
It’s understandable to question if something as simple as hand washing can really help combat potentially deadly viruses like COVID-19. But the CDC notes that hand washing is one of the best ways people can protect themselves and their families from getting sick. Understanding just how hand washing works may help people better understand how this simple gesture can potentially save so many lives.
How does hand washing remove germs?
The CDC notes that soap and water worked into a lather trap and remove germs and chemicals from hands. Water is a vital component of hand washing, especially when it’s applied to hands before soap. Water helps develop a better lather than people will get when applying soap to dry hands. That’s important because a good lather forms pockets known as micelles that trap and remove germs from hands.
Why is it important to wash hands for 20 seconds?
Prior to the pandemic, many people likely had no idea that proper hand washing calls for washing hands for 20 seconds. So why so long? The CDC notes that studies have found that hands need to be scrubbed for 20 seconds in order to remove harmful germs. Washing for anything less than 20 seconds runs the risk of leaving germs on your hands.
Should I use antibacterial hand soap?
It might surprise some to learn that the CDC says antibacterial hand soap is not necessary for anyone outside of professional health care settings. Studies have found no added health benefit of using antibacterial soap as opposed to plain soap and water. So consumers should not fret if they can’t find any antibacterial hand soap on their next trip to the grocery store.
Should I use warm or cold water?
According to the CDC, when combined with soap, water removes the same amount of germs whether it’s warm or cold. Water’s role in hand washing is to help create a lather, and lathers can be created with hot or cold water.
When should I wash my hands?
Hands should be washed any time they are visibly dirty or greasy. The CDC also recommends washing hands:
· before, during and after preparing food
· before eating
· before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
· before and after treating a cut or wound
· after using the toilet
· after changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
· after touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste
· after handling pet food or pet treats
· after touching garbage
Hand washing is as effective as public health officials insist it is, which is why it should be a vital component of everyone’s daily health care routine.
Article compliments of MetroCreative. TF20C540
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