It sounds stupid but, here is something we all take for granted...me too.
Washing Your Hands - Proper Handwashing Technique
Children learn by example! Let them observe good hand washing technique from the adults who care for them.
Why is hand washing important?
Hand washing, when done correctly, is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Good hand washing technique is
easy to learn and can significantly reduce the spread of infectious diseases among both children and adults in places such as schools, daycares and
Follow these steps to wash your hands properly:
Wet your hands with warm running water.
Add soap, and rub hands vigorously with soap and water for 15 seconds (sing Happy Birthday to yourself twice!), making a soapy lather. Do this away
from the running water for at least 15 seconds, being careful not to wash the lather away. Wash the front and back of your hands, as well as between
your fingers and under your nails.
Rinse your hands well under warm running water. Let the water run back into the sink, not down to your elbows. Turn off the water with a paper towel
and dispose in a proper receptacle.
Dry hands thoroughly with a clean towel.
Why use "good washing technique"?
By rubbing your hands vigorously with soapy water, you pull the dirt and the oily soils free from your skin. The soap lather suspends both the dirt
and germs trapped inside and are then quickly washed away.
What type of soap should be used?
Any type of soap may be used. However, bar soap should be kept in a self draining holder that is cleaned thoroughly before new bars are put out and
liquid soap containers (which must be used in day care centers) should be used until empty and cleaned before refilling.
To prevent chapping use a mild soap with warm water; pat rather than rub hands dry; and apply lotion liberally and frequently.
If the water is not safe for drinking because of germs (bacteria, viruses or parasites), good handwashing with soap and water should be followed up
with hand disinfection for good hand hygiene.
Hand disinfection is when additional agents are used to kill germs living on your hands. This may be done using alcohol based rubs/gels/rinses.
What are alcohol rubs/gels/rinses ?
Alcohol rubs/gels/rinses are excellent hand disinfectants, containing more than 60% alcohol. They are widely used in the health care setting after
washing hands, or in situations when water is not available.
The alcohol content of the disinfectant product completely evaporates in 15 seconds. You should use hand lotion after each use of the alcohol based
hand disinfectant. This will balance the drying effect of alcohol on your skin.
How do I use alcohol-based hand disinfectants ?
Dirt should be removed from your hands. Alcohol based hand disinfectants work best on clean skin, so wash your hands with soap and warm water, even if
the water is not fit to drink.
Carefully dry your hands, as water on wet hands will dilute the alcohol content of the disinfectant product, decreasing its effectiveness.
Apply enough disinfectant to make about the size of a dime onto your hands, enough when you rub your hands together to cover all areas of your hands,
including under the your nails. Use a rubbing motion to evenly distribute the disinfectant product for about 15 seconds, or until your hands feel dry
whichever is longest.
Is it safe to use alcohol-based disinfectant for the hands of children ?
Yes, it is safe. It should not be swallowed, therefore, young children should be supervised when using it. Store it safely. After application of the
disinfectant to hands the alcohol content evaporates, and children can safely touch their mouth or eyes.
What are some mistakes I should avoid regarding hand washing?
DON'T use a single damp cloth to wash a group of children's hands.
DON'T use a standing basin of water to rinse hands.
DON'T use a common hand towel. Always use disposable towels in day care or food preparation settings.
DON'T use sponges or non-disposable cleaning cloths unless you launder them on a regular basis, adding chlorine bleach to the wash water. Remember
that germs thrive on moist surfaces.
What are some ways to help children with good hand washing technique?
It is important to encourage and help children to wash hands before eating, after playing outdoors or playing with pets, after using the bathroom, and
after blowing their noses.
Even though hands may appear to be clean, they may carry germs or microorganisms that are capable of causing disease. Don't assume that children know
how to wash their hands properly. Supervision, especially in a day care setting, is an essential element in forming good hand washing habits in
[edit on 4-8-2005 by gman55]