Our hands can carry a whole host of bacteria, many of which can cause or spread disease. Keeping your hands clean can help to prevent us and those around us from getting sick and spreading germs. Using soap and clean running water is the best way to keep your hands clean. If soap and warm water aren’t available, then you can use a hand sanitizer.
We touch our face a lot, maybe without even realizing. The easiest way for bacteria to enter the body is through the eyes, nose and mouth, which can make us sick. If our hands aren’t washed, we can also spread bacteria to food we are preparing for friends and family.
A significant source of disease is feces, as it often contains bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli and various other viruses. These can get onto your hands when changing diapers or using the toilet, but also when handling raw meat, which can become contaminated when food is processed. Bacteria can also spread to your hands if you touch an object already contaminated, for example, if someone has sneezed or coughed on it.
Here are some of the most important times you should wash your hands:
- Before and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the restroom
- After changing diapers or helping a child use the restroom
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- After touching an animal or handling animal feed or waste
- After touching garbage or throwing out the garbage
Follow these steps each time to wash your hands effectively