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Why properly washing your hands is important for your health
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Why properly washing your hands is important for your health

What do you do before you prepare a meal?

What do you do after going to the toilet? What do you do after you just sneeze? Wash your hands of course! That’s the wise thing to do we have all been drilled about this from a young age. However,  it turns out that many people don’t wash their hands properly. Research shows that only 5% of the toilet-goers wash their hands the right way. So why is washing your hands so important? When should you wash your hands? How do you wash your hands the right way? And how can we encourage this? The answers can be found here.

So why is washing your hands so important? When should you wash your hands? How do you wash your hands the right way? And how can we encourage this? The answers can be found here.

When should you wash your hands? How do you wash your hands the right way? And how can we encourage this? The answers can be found here.

How do you wash your hands the right way? How can we encourage this?

The answers can be found here.

 

Prevention of Infection and Diseases

The main reason to wash your hands is to prevent infectious diseases. During the day you touch all kinds of things: door handles, your pet, the lid of your bin and you touch your face regularly. You sneeze now and again so you’re touching your mouth and nose. I can assure you that your hands are full of bacteria. During food preparation bacteria, viruses and other pathogens can land on your food and cause infections., You can unconsciously rub your eye or touch your nose or mouth. Pathogens come into contact with your mucous membranes and if your immune system is not optimal, the risk of becoming ill is high.

Children

Young children are exposed to bacteria, because they play many outdoor games, regularly put dirt from the ground in their mouths and frequently come into contact with other children. Try to point out to kids to wash their hands. But even on vacation, it is important to clean your hands, because cleanliness in some countries is not always on the same level as home.

Studies have shown that most pathogens are spread via the hands. Something as innocent as a handshake already allows for the transfer of many bacteria. Scientists additionally think unwashed hands account for 80% of common infections.

So it’s important to regularly wash your hands and avoid to getting sick or to infecting other people.

When should you wash your hands?

Her is a handy checklist for you to know when to wash your hands.

After visiting the toilet

Before the preparation of your meal

After contact with raw meat, poultry, fish and raw vegetables

Before you eat

After sneezing or blowing your nose

After touching a bin

Before and after changing your baby

After petting your pet

Before and after the treatment of a wound

Protocol for washing your hands

Often we just turn the faucet knob, wet our hands a little and think we are ready. While cleaning your hands is a small effort. It takes only 20 seconds of your time.

Follow this protocol below for washing hands:

  1. Wash your hands under running water and use liquid soap.
  2. Rub your whole hand well, including between your fingers and under your nails.
  3. Rinse your hands well. And all this in a minimum of 20 seconds.
  4. Finally dry them, preferably with a disposable towel for good hygiene

There are ways to encourage this phenomenon. Washing one’s hands are part of someone’s behaviour and behaviour can be influenced. Research has been done to encourage hand washing after using the toilet. Social influence plays a role. It involves communicating a standard. Washing your hands can be stimulated by responding to the standards by means of communicative expressions.

A distinction can be made between imperative and descriptive standards

The imperative standard indicates how people should behave in a given situation. In this case, washing one’s hands after visiting the toilet. The results showed that a sign with “Wash hands after urinating” stimulated the washing of hands. The descriptive standard indicates how people actually behave in a certain situation. In this case, the mention of the number of people who wash their hands after visiting the toilet. A sign with “78% of visitors to this toilet washes their hands after using the toilet. You too?” ensured that people washed their hands. Perhaps a counter next to the sink counting the number of Hand Washers can also work as a stimulant. When you see that there are many people who have been there before for you, you want to help increase the counter.

Being better aware of hand washing seems like a good thing. And if everyone did this, we probably could reduce the number of infections, as predicted by scientists.

I am going to wash my hands!