Healing Begins with Clean Hands
Is handwashing really such a big deal?
Yes, it is! Clean hands prevent illnesses. It is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. National Handwashing Awareness Week was Dec 2-8 and it reminds us to be very particular about handwashing, especially during cold and flu season.
There are 4 key principles to remember.
- Wash your hands when they are dirty and before eating.
- DO NOT cough into your hands.
- DO NOT sneeze into your hands.
- DO NOT put your fingers into your nose, eyes or mouth.
Proper hand washing involves the following 5 steps.
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Washing hands with soap and water are the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Everyone should learn the basics about hand washing and become a champion hand washer!
Dr. Mahesh Ochaney is a solo practitioner who has been practicing Internal Medicine since 1991. Dr. Ochaney’s compassionate primary care has been recognized several times over the years, including being named a 2018 Top Doctor by Baltimore Magazine and receiving a State of Maryland Governor’s Citation.