According to the Mayo Clinic, “one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness” is to wash your hands. One of the easiest ways to catch a cold or influenza is to rub your nose or your eyes when your hands have been contaminated by germs. Your best defense against such contamination is to wash your hands regularly. Good hygiene can also prevent the spread of more serious conditions, such as pneumonia and diarrheal diseases, which every year cause the death of over two million children under the age of five. Even the spread of deadly Ebola can be minimized by the simple habit of washing hands.
There are certain times when hand washing is particularly important to protect your own health and that of others. You should wash your hands:
· After using the toilet.
· After changing diapers or helping a child to use the toilet.
· Before and after treating a wound or a cut.
· Before and after being with someone who is sick.
· Before preparing, serving, or eating food.
· After sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.
· After touching an animal or animal waste.
· After handling garbage.
And do not take it for granted that you are cleaning your hands properly. Studies have shown that a large percentage of those who use public toilets do not wash their hands afterward or do not wash them correctly. How should you wash your hands?
· Wet your hands in clean running water and apply soap.
· Rub your hands together to make a lather, not forgetting to clean your nails, your thumbs, the backs of your hands, and between your fingers.
· Keep rubbing for at least 20 seconds.
· Rinse in clean running water.
· Dry with a clean cloth or a paper towel.
Such measures are simple but can avert illness and save lives.