On top of the pandemic, cold and flu season is creeping in to threaten your health. Your best defense is as simple as washing your hands. However, experts warn that 95% of people wash their hands improperly, leading to outbreaks of illness.
Regular hand washing is one of the best ways to remove germs and prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but only when done properly. Below are common hand-washing errors that may be putting your health at risk:
Overlooking parts of your hands when cleansing is an unfortunately common mistake. Be sure to scrub in between your fingers and under your nails. To remove germs from under the fingernails, experts suggest lightly scratching your nails against an already soapy palm. Be sure to wash a few inches above the wrist as well.
Washing too quickly will leave residue and bacteria on your hands. Wash your hands for the recommended 20 seconds.
Touching a faucet or door handle immediately after washing is dangerous as well. Imagine how many others have interacted with those high touch surfaces. Be sure to use a clean towel and dispose of it after touching a public surface. If no towels are available in a public place, air dry them.
To effectively wash your hands, follow these five steps:
1. Wet your hands with running water and apply soap.
2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to cover your entire hands and fingers.
3. Scrub for at least 20 seconds. For reference, you can think of the “Happy Birthday” song (or various others) from beginning to end twice.
4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
5. Dry your hands with a clean towel or let them air dry.
With COVID-19 reaching record-breaking positive case numbers, guidelines as to how often you wash your hands are changing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you should also clean hands:
After you have been in a public place and touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people. This includes door handles, shopping carts, tables, gas pumps, or electronic cashier registers/screens, etc.
After touching another person or animal who does not live in your immediate household
After any exposure to a positive COVID-19 case
Before eating, drinking, or touching your face
Sanitizer is no replacement for washing your hands properly. However, it is useful as a replacement when unable to access soap and water. Always choose a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, which will be indicated on the label.
Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However,
Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of harmful germs and bacteria.
Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty.
Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from your skin.
Easy steps such as washing your hands properly can protect you from the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other illnesses. We’re here to help combat COVID-19 and other diseases with high-quality PPE. Our team is working around the clock to provide masks, gloves, thermometers, test kits, and more to essential workers around the world. If you’re interested in medical-grade PPE, get a quote or talk with one of our specialists today.