Handwashing: Handwashing Techniques To Protect Your Baby From Infections

Published Categorized as Child Safety Articles

What is ?

, handwashing or is the means by which someone cleans the hands in order to remove soil, dirt and germs using soap and water.

Handwashing is important because it removes germs that live on the hands

Most people do not realize that germs live on their hands. Germs are invisible, living creatures that can cause people to becomes sick. These germs, when taken in by mouth via unwashed hands, enter the body and can multiply to cause sickness.

These germs can be either resident and transient. Resident bacteria live on the hands and love to hide in the creases. It takes a skin brush to remove them.

On the other hand, transient bacteria are picked up during the activities of daily living. They love to hide under the finger nails and are loosely attached to the skin in grease and dirt. They are removed by frequent handwashing.

Why is so important?

Although it seems to be a simple activity, World Health Organization (2015) and the Center For Disease Control Disease And Prevention (2018) stress that handwashing is one of the BEST and MOST important ways to prevent sickness and to prevent the spread of infections.

It is very important to understand that many diseases and conditions are spread by failing to wash the hands with soap and clean, running water. The Center for Disease Control (2018) also recommend using an alcohol based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Therefore, all parents and caregivers should pay attention to handwashing in order to protect their babies from coming down with infections.

What equipment do you need for

Soap or

Hand sanitizer with minimum 60% alcohol (only if hands are lightly soiled and do not visibly contain soil or grease).

Clean, running water

Hand towel or

Paper towel

hand sanitizers

When & How to Wash Your Hands

These handwashing guidelines provided by The Center For Disease Control (2019) are very important and should be carried out by all human beings in order to maintain health. Hands should be was>hed:

Before, during, and after preparing

Before eating

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 handling pet or pet treats

After touching garbage

How to properly wash hands in order to effectively remove dirt, grease and germs

The CDC 92019) recommends that the following steps should be followed when washing 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.

You MUST lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice in order to keep time.

Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them

What is the science behind the handwashing technique recommended by the CDC?

Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold)

.

Why? Because hands could become recontaminated with germs if they are placed in a basin of standing water that has been contaminated through previous use. This is why clean running water should be used

Turn off the tap, and apply soap

.

Why? Turning off the tap after wetting hands saves water, and there are few data to prove whether significant numbers of germs are transferred between hands and the tap.

Why use soap? Using soap to wash hands is more effective than using water alone because the surfactants in soap lift soil and germs from skin, and people tend to scrub hands more thoroughly when using soap, which further removes germs.

Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap

.

You MUST lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails

.

Why? Lathering and scrubbing hands creates friction, which helps lift dirt, grease, and germs from skin. Germs are present on all surfaces of the hand, often in particularly high concentration under the nails, so the entire hand should be scrubbed.

Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice in order to time the procedure

Why? Most scientific evidence suggests that washing hands for about 15-30 seconds removes more germs from hands than washing for shorter periods.

Rinse your hands well under clean, running water

.

Why? Rinsing removes the dirt, grease, and germs from the skin and also minimizes skin irritation caused by the soap.

Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them

.

Why? Germs can be transferred more easily to and from wet hands; therefore, hands should be dried after washing

hand sanitizers

How to wash hands using a hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizers should contain at least 60% alcohol in order to kill germs. However, it is very important to note that they are not as effective when the hands are visibly dirty or greasy. This means that they are carrying too many germs to be treated in this manner.

It is also important to note that hand sanitizers do not remove all types of germs and might not remove harmful . Therefore, remember that with soap and water is the BEST way to reduce the number of germs on them in most situations.

These are the CDC (2019) recommendations for using a hand sanitizer:

If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations,

Hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

How do you use hand sanitizers?

Apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
Rub your hands together.
Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.

Sources

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html

Show Me the Science – Situations where hand sanitizer can be effective & How to Use it in community settings

By Baby Milestones

Baby Milestones is dedicated to sharing information about the month-by-month milestones of child development. We also teach about the development of the inner, human spirit; childhood diet; the importance of play; how to raise children to love God, and much more.

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