When kids head back to school they bring home more than homework! They bring back lots of germs. Those germs wreak havoc on immune systems and cause runny noses, coughs, colds, and flu. If germs are the villain then who is our hero? How can we stop the nefarious germs from beating down our immune systems?? There is a super power that we all have and that super power is, proper hand washing! Hand washing is one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy and to minimize your exposure to the germs that can make you sick. When your kids and teens go to school and bring home germs hand washing can help keep everyone in your home healthy. Teach everyone in your home to wash their hands the right way and to wash their hands at the right times.
When Should I Wash My Hands?
- Before, during, and after preparing food whether it is raw or cooked
- Before eating, even if it is just an after school snack!
- Before and after using a medical device like a urinary catheter or an ostomy appliance
- Before and after administrating first aid and wound care
- Before and after tending and caring for someone who is sick
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After using the toilet or changing a diaper
- After touching garbage
- After handling an animal, animal food, or animal waste
Now you know when you should wash your hands but how do you wash your hands? Just turning the water on and shaking your fingers under the tap for a few seconds isn't enough to get your hands clean and it definitely won't kill germs. There actually is a right way to wash your hands and it only takes about half a minute, so it is very easy to keep yourself healthy during flu and cold season.
How to Properly Wash Your Hands
- Wet your hands with clean running water. The water can be warm or cold
- Turn off the water and apply liquid or bar soap to your hands
- Lather the soap on your hands by rubbing your palms together
- Make sure the soap lather covers the tops of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails
- You should scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds
- Turn the water back on and rinse your hands and fingers very well
- Dry your hands on a clean towel or let them air dry
Okay, now you know when to wash your hands and how to wash your hands but what happens if you are having a snack somewhere and there isn't running water? What if you are in a park and someone has an adorable puppy who wants to be petted but there isn't clean running water or soap? What do you do? Do you not pet the puppy? Obviously that isn't the solution because who is thinking about germs when there are cute puppies to be petted? Lucky for all of us there is a way to kill germs and keep our hands clean without running water or soap. The solution is to use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer is easy to use, simply read the directions and you are good to go. When possible always wash your hands with soap and water, however, by using hand sanitizer you can make sure you are free of unwanted germs no matter where you are staying. Antimicrobial gel wipes are a great way to keep hand sanitizer close, they can be carried in a pocket, purse, or school backpack. If you want to carry a tub of wipes Sani-Hands also makes larger disinfecting hand sanitizing wipes which are great to keep in your car or campsite. It is simple to keep a bottle of Purell Hand Santizer, and it is an easy to use. One pump of Purell rubbed into the skin of your hands and fingers will help combat flu and cold germs. Remember, the best way to stay healthy is to avoid getting sick, so wash your hands and cover your coughs and sneezes.