You might protest and say, but my home and work area is super clean! The truth is that bacteria can lurk everywhere. It resides in the telephone handset, in the computer keyboard, in the railings of the stairs. When your hands come into contact with these things, bacteria are present especially if other people other than yourself also use them. It doesn’t have to mean that you should wash your hands every 30 minutes, but the spread of bacteria can be stopped if you wash your hands before and after important things, like eating, throughout the day. Other times when it is important to wash your hands include when preparing food, when treating open wounds, when about to take or administer medicine, getting into contact with an ill or injured person and when changing contact lenses. Washing hands before doing the said activities is important, and it is equally important to wash your hands after doing the said jobs. It is also important to wash your hands especially after handling raw meats or poultry, petting an animal, using the toilet, changing diapers, changing sanitary pads or tampons, blowing the nose, sneezing or coughing into the hands, and handling garbage.
Washing hands with water is not enough. When washing hands, you should wash with a gentle, regular soap which can strip the bacteria away from your hands. Lather and scrub hands for at least 20 seconds (taking care to clean thoroughly the backs of the hands, the wrists, spaces between fingers and under the fingernails) before rinsing thoroughly and drying with a clean towel or air drying. Using anti bacterial soaps does not work any better than using regular soap. In fact, anti bacterial soaps may cause some bacteria to develop a resistance to them making the soap ineffective in eliminating some bacteria in the future with its regular use.
For those on the go, fortunately there are products available to sanitize the hands more quickly than using soap and water. Hand sanitizers are usually pocket sized bottles of alcohol gels or liquids that can be conveniently kept in the bag or purse. You need to simple apply a small amount in the palm of your hands and rub all over the entire hands and wrists to kill bacteria and germs. However, for visibly dirty hands, it’s best to wash with soap and water still.
Children should be taught to wash their hands regularly while they’re still young so that they can develop the healthy habit as they grow up. You as a parent should show them the proper way to wash their hands, and you could also give them a bottle of hand sanitizer (after showing them how to use it properly) that they could use while they’re at school or outdoors playing sports.