Handwashing, Why is This Important?

HandwashingWith all the various diseases surrounding us, it becomes increasingly important to observe basic hygiene. The sad news is not everyone practices this. In fact, even one of the most important hygienic procedures is being overlooked at present, handwashing.

From a study made this year by the American Society for Microbiology, they found that about one-third of Americans skipped handwashing after going to restrooms and three-quarters only washed before handling food or changing diapers. This is a cause for concern.

Here are some of the types of diseases that can be transmitted from one person to another caused by not washing the hands after going inside a restroom:

Hepatitis A – Hepatitis A unlike its other variants (Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C) is not chronic but is a nuisance since it also causes liver inflammation leading to possible symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, etc.

Hand-Foot-Mouth-Disease – This somehow shares the same symptoms as Hepatitis A such as fever, and reduced appetite but this disease appear as sores or red spots that can be painful sores either in the mouth, palms of hands, soles of feet, elbows, knees, and even in the genital area.

Shigellosis – Also known as Shigella, is a bacterial disease that causes not only fever and abdominal pain but diarrhea (that is sometimes bloody).

Giardiasis – This is brought about by the Giardia parasite. A person infected by this may experience symptoms such as gas, diarrhea, upset stomach accompanied by nausea/vomiting, stomach cramps, greasy stools that tend to float, dehydration.

 

Fortunately, these diseases mentioned are curable through medication, proper diet and adequate rest, and do not last very long. But why subject yourselves to these and possible life-threatening illnesses if we can increase our chances of avoiding them by taking preventive measures such as handwashing? And do take note that the kind of handwashing we are referring to is proper handwashing done with both soap and water.

Below are some proper handwashing tips.

1) Remove any jewelry from hands (if any)

2) Lather with soap using friction and make sure to cover all surfaces of your hands and fingers

3) Wash/rinse hands thoroughly under running water.

4) Turn off faucet using your wrist or elbow.

5) Dry hands with a single use towel of by using forced air dryer. If you are using a towel to dry your hands pat your skin rather than rubbing it. Do not reuse disposable towels.

 

Additional Tips:

* Suggested hand hygiene products for best results are ones that have anti-microbial ingredients.

* If you have any sore hands or infected hands that require medication, please make sure to consult with your doctor or healthcare professional first for proper procedures on washing.

 

Sources: cdc.gov, livestrong.com, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, abcnews.go.com

 


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