Why is handwashing important?

Why is handwashing important?

Germs spread from surfaces to people when we touch a surface and then touch our face with unwashed hands.


Chapter 1

Why is handwashing important?

by: careana

Why is handwashing important? Hygiene


Germs spread from surfaces to people when we touch a surface and then touch our face with unwashed hands.

Proper handwashing is the best way to protect yourself and others from being exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

To combat COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source


 recommends regularly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly if you’ve been in a public area or have sneezed, coughed, or blown your nose.


Washing your hands properly with soap and running water can stave off illnesses that affect healthy people, as well as those with weakened immune systems.


Handwashing can protect you from COVID-19 and respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, and gastric infections that cause diarrhea. Many of these conditions can be fatal to some people, such as older adults, those with weakened immune systems, babies, and children. You can pass on these germs, even if you’re not sick.

What’s the best way to wash your hands?

Washing your hands with soap and water has been found to reduce more bacteria than washing with water alone. Antibacterial soap may not be necessary to use every day at home outside of healthcare settings. Regular soap and water can be effective.


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Steps for washing hands effectively include:

  1. Rinse your hands under running water at a comfortable temperature. Warm water isn’t more effective than cold water at killing germs.
  2. Apply the type of soap you like best. Soaps to try include liquid formulas, foams, and those with added moisturizers.
  3. Work up a lather for half a minute or longer. Make sure to spread the lather on all parts of your hands and wrists, including under your fingernails and between your fingers.
  4. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
  5. If you’re using a public bathroom, use a paper towel both to turn off the faucet and turn the door handle when exiting.

Readmore: 7 Steps to Washing Your Hands Properly


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