“Hand hygiene is now interpreted as one of the most important aspects of infection control activities. In the wake of the growing burden of healthcare associated infections, personal and public hand hygiene roots to the major infection root prevention technique,” says Purva Mathur, from the Department of Laboratory Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
In her recent citations, she adds, “this is because enough scientific evidence supports the observation that if properly implemented, hand hygiene alone can significantly reduce the risk of cross-transmission of infection in healthcare facilities.”
The benefits of being hygienic are nevertheless accounted for in major contributing factors. However, it is a much-deciding act in your regular health routine. Know the three vital rules to wash hands.
1.Follow the key-time routine to wash your hands like before and after: eating food, caring for children and preparing meals.
Regular hand washing certainly helps you lower the chances of infection spreading. Nonetheless, following the key time routines will tremendously help you in curbing the spread of germs and infections within your family as well.
- Before, during, and after preparing meals
- Before taking your food
- Before and after treating a bruise or cut
- Before and after caring for someone at home who might be sick with vomiting or diarrhea
- After using washroom
- After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching kitchen garbage or waste storage cans
2.Essential steps for hand care.
With the 5 step rule of wet-lather-scrub-rinse-dry, include the 6th essential step of moisturizing. Frequent hand washing leaves your palms dry and brittle. When exposed to dust and dirt, this dryness tends to attract fungal infections. Hence, adding up the 6th essential step to your hand hygiene steps is a must. Moisturize your hands soon after the crucial five-step hand sanitizing process of wetting, lathering, scrubbing, rinsing and drying.
3.Remove any hand jewelry
While washing the hands, remove the hand jewelry and rinse hands under running water. Simple hand jewelry like rings, bracelets tend to attract the microbes more often. Microbes can also hide under these metals while rinsing. Thus, remove them before lathering with soap. Cover the entire surfaces of hands and fingers and wash thoroughly under running water. Then turn off the faucet with your wrist/elbow and not your cleaned direct hands.
4.Choose effective hand wash
Apart from the matter of cleaning, how you clean also matters. Most of the products in the market come with a tagline that it kills 99.9% of germs, but most of them also contain harmful chemicals such as Triclosan, Parabens, and sodium lauryl sulfate which is both harmful for us and for the environment. So choose a biodegradable and eco-friendly hand-wash.
Hand hygiene is an efficient method to curb the spread of many common and serious infections like diarrhea, hepatitis-A, flu and recent coronavirus. Hand Hygiene is low cost, easy and simple to adhere to, and can help protect health.
Not just during the pandemics or infection spread seasons, following hand hygiene is a shred of a time-tested and evidence-based intervention to follow. After all, a clean hand is a safe hand!