Help Cut Down Germs on Hand Hygiene Day
These days, it seems like there are endless factors you have to take into
account when considering your overall health. There’s one tried
and true tactic that has always been effective, however, and that’s
washing your hands. It’s one of the easiest and most effective ways
to protect you and those around you from illnesses.
That’s why Frederick Memorial Hospital is proud to support Hand Hygiene
Day on May 5th. Practicing proper hand hygiene can keep not only you healthy, but it
can stop germs from
spreading from person to person. In fact, hand washing has been described as a
“do-it-yourself” vaccine by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s fast,
easy, and it can make a huge difference.
Reducing the Spread of Germs
Killing germs is good for everyone. It keeps you healthy and prevents others
from getting sick. Researchers have estimated that if everyone washed
their hands on a regular basis, it would result in 1
million fewer deaths a year. Practicing proper hand hygiene also reduces the risk of
foodborne illnesses, and can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by
16%. When hand sanitizer was used in elementary school classrooms, it resulted in a
19.8% decrease in student absences due to infection.
When to Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands often is always a good idea. There are certain times
where germs are more likely to get on your hands and spread to others.
You should wash your hands before, during, and after
preparing food, as well as before eating food. It’s also important to wash your
caring for someone who is sick, treating a cut or a wound, or after using the restroom. If
you’re changing a child’s diaper, blowing your nose, touching
an animal, or touching garbage, washing your hands will help
prevent the spread of germs.
How to Wash Your Hands
In order to wash your hands properly, it’s important to follow
five simple steps. First, wet your hands with clean water and apply soap. Then, rub your
hands together with the soap before scrubbing them for at least 20 seconds.
If you need to time yourself, you can pass the time by singing“Happy Birthday” twice. Finally, rinse your hands under running water before drying them.
When to Use Hand Sanitizer
When soap and water aren’t available and you need to rid your hands
of germs, it’s best to use an
alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It’s important that the hand sanitizer contains at least
60% alcohol. You can see how much alcohol the sanitizer contains by checking the product
label. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is
more effective at reducing bacterial counts and causes less skin irritation than soap
and water; it quickly kills germs so that they’re unable to
adapt or develop resistance.
In order to use hand sanitizer properly,
apply it to the palm of one hand before rubbing your hands together. Rub it over the entirety of
both of your hands until they’re dry.
Hand hygiene is something that we can all practice. It’s an easy
way to stay on top of your own health and to make sure you aren’t
spreading germs to other people. Join Frederick Memorial Hospital in supporting
Hand Hygiene Day on May 5th by using the hashtag #CleanHandsCount across all social media platforms.
Together, we can help to make the world (and our hands) a healthier place.