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Health Focus
The importance of washing hands
19 Dec 2017

Hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent illness. A number of infectious diseases can be spread from one person to another by contaminated hands, particularly gastrointestinal infections, influenza and hepatitis A. Washing your hands properly can help prevent the spread of the organisms that cause these diseases. 


When should you wash your hands?

·       Before, during and after preparing food

·       Before eating food

·       Before and after caring for someone who is sick

·       Before and after treating a cut or wound

·       After using the toilet

·       After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet

·       After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing

·       After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste

·       After touching garbage 


What is the right way to wash your hands? 

·       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. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails

·       Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. A good way to time yourself is to 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

Generally, it is better to use liquid soap than bar soap, particularly at work. The benefits of liquid soap include:

·      Hygiene – it is less likely to be contaminated

·      Conservation – liquid soap dispensers do not dispense more than required

·      Saves time – liquid soap dispensers are easy and efficient to use


Things to remember: 

·      Wash your hands thoroughly

·      Wash your hands throughout the day as you can pick up germs from everyday tasks

·      Liquid soap is better than bar soap, especially in public places

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