After a tough flu season throughout the United States, I began thinking about ways to truly prevent catching a nasty virus (Get your mind out of the gutter).
Thoroughly washing hands to prevent germs from spreading was the first thing that came to mind. Imagine if you could see the germs you are about to touch on every surface you put your hands on. Gross!
I am by no means an expert on hand washing, a matter a fact, I probably neglect this area way too much. Research shows only 5% of people properly wash their hands, think about that the next time you give a hand shake. We went on a mission to find an expert on washing hands, crazy this is not a profession yet, new business idea? Anyways I think we found someone who knows what they are doing when it comes to hand washing.
We spoke to an orthopedic surgeon on how he washes his hands before surgery and this is what we found out. By the way, one of the top concerned for a surgeon is infection control, meaning eliminate all variables that could infect the patient. Hand washing is number one.
When should you wash your hands?
- Before and after you eat. Never put your hands on something going in your body without washing your hands, imagine the germs you are consuming.
- Before and after you treat a cut or a wound
- Before and after caring for a sick individual
- After using the bathroom
- Anytime you blow your nose or cough, wash your hands from the germs
- For all those animal lovers, ANYTIME after you care or touch an animal you should wash your hands. An animals fur can be full of germs, imagine what they are rolling around in all day!
What is the proper way for someone to wash their hands?
- Use regular soap and avoid anti-bacterial soap, it is less effective and can create super-bugs. We don’t want any super-bugs creeping on us!
- Use warm water or cold water when washing hands, studies show cold water kills germs just as well as hot water.
- Scrubs hands with regular soap for at least 20 seconds, anything under will be ineffective. Singing happy birthday twice while scrubbing is a great way to make sure those hands are nice and clean!
- Make sure you clean under those fingernails, use something that can help get the grime from under those nails. Suggestions, the opposite side of your plastic tooth floss can be a great cleaner.
- Dry hands with a clean towel or under a dryer.
- Turn off the faucet with a towel to prevent touching a dirty surface.
The key, don’t touch the faucet or door knob right after cleaning your hands, let's use our brains for one second. What was the last thing that touched that faucet? Oh, that’s right, your poopy hands.
Lastly, does hand sanitizer work? Yes, alcohol based hand sanitizer can clean your hands if needed. Make sure to put a lot on your hands before scrubbing. Here are a few tips on when to NOT use sanitizer:
- If there is visible grime or dirt on your hands
- Alcohol based sanitizer will not eliminate all the germs from your hands and will not remove pesticides and heavy metals. Make sure to use soap and water for these situations.
- If the option of soap and water is available
Alright, for all those nail biters and finger food junkies, make sure you wash those nasty hands before getting them near your mouth. The transfer of germs is real and be considerate for those you have helping or touching. No excuses now when washing those hands, doctors orders.
Enjoy the day you filthy animals.