Hand Hygiene

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By Dr Ratna Rao

Read on to know the importance of good hand hygiene and the correct hand washing technique

We are taught the importance of good hygiene from a very young age. Hand hygiene is a very important aspect of it. Effective hand hygiene is widely recognised and recommended by the physicians as being one of the most important interventions to control and prevent the spread of germs and infections.


It is astounding that there are so many people that don’t wash correctly - and not just children. When preparing food, many adults don’t think to wash their hands after handling raw meat and there are some who don’t seem to bother to wash their hands at all - especially after using the bathroom.


Correct hand washing technique

Follow these simple tips for proper hand washing:


First wet your hands with warm water.

Next add soap and lather all areas thoroughly, your wrists, palms, the back of your hands, between your fingers as well as under and around your fingernails. Be sure to continue to lather for 20 to 30 seconds before rinsing.
When drying your hands a paper towel or air drying is a better choice than using a hand towel that is shared with everyone else. When using a public restroom use a paper towel or a few squares of toilet paper to turn off the faucet and to open the door.


At home you should make it a habit to clean door knobs, faucets and other surfaces  that are frequently touched. This is especially recommended if you have infants, old or sick people at home.


Use of Hand Dryers vs Paper Towels

Using paper towels, air drying, hand dryers are effective ways of drying your hands. However, those who are looking for a way to reduce waste may find that using hand dryers is not only more economical but friendlier for the environment.


Practicing proper hand hygiene does not take long to do and is an important step in keeping you and your family healthy. Be sure to wash your hands when needed and don’t forget to remind other family members to do the same.



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