By in Health & Fitness

For Your Health: Hand Washing Is an Important Preventive Measure Against Illness

Your mother was right: Washing your hands often IS important. Hand washing is the most effective and simplest way to prevent the spread of germs. As germs cause illness, it follows then that regular and proper hand washing is an important weapon in the prevention of illness.

Our hands touch multiple surfaces throughout the day and come into contact with a variety of bacteria and viruses. Those germs are then transferred into our bodies when we touch our eyes, nose or mouth. Rub your eyes? Eat finger foods such as snacks? Whatever is on your hands, germ-wise, has now had an open portal into your body where those germs may take hold and cause illness.

The best method of hand washing is to use soap and water. Antibacterial soap is not necessary, in fact some experts advise against its regular use. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, advises the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , making sure to wash palms, between fingers, under fingernails and the backs of your hands.

If soap and water isn't available, or until it is, cleanse hands with a hand sanitizer than contains at least 60 percent alcohol, again making certain to cleans all the surfaces of your hands.

Remember, too, that faucet handles or levers a germ-laden surfaces -- after all, you just touched them with your hands before washing them clean!

Resources: CDC.gov " Wash Your Hands "

Minnesota Department of Health " 5 Common Ways Germs Are Spread "

Other "For Your Health" Posts: How to Know If You Have a Cold or the Flu

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Image Credit » Public Domain CCO License via Pixabay OpenClips http://www.wellness.uci.edu/toolkit/september/coldvsflu.pdf

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Comments

LeaPea2417 wrote on October 8, 2014, 3:22 PM

Yes, it is a very necessary thing to do to prevent illness and diseases.

alexdg1 wrote on October 8, 2014, 5:18 PM

If you must use hand sanitizers, don't overdo it, especially if you buy the ones with antibiotics. Bacteria eventually become resistant to antibiotics and, consequently, more dangerous to our health.

bestwriter wrote on October 8, 2014, 7:32 PM

You are right. Hands need to be washed thoroughly specially before getting into the kitchen. I personally see that my maid does it each time she gets in there. Hands go everywhere. Even a door handle has germs.

paigea wrote on October 9, 2014, 12:09 AM

I wash my hands a lot. I want to be healthy so I can work when teachers are sick.

Feisty56 wrote on October 9, 2014, 10:21 PM

Sometimes I think we tend to make some things too complicated. Hand washing is such a simple preventive measure.

Feisty56 wrote on October 9, 2014, 10:22 PM

The CDC also cautioned that hand sanitizers are okay to use now and then, but not to the exclusion of washing hands with soap and water.

Feisty56 wrote on October 9, 2014, 10:24 PM

I wash my hands multiple times while preparing a meal. I am touching raw meat or poultry, handling cans or packages and raw produce. Cooking itself kills a lot of germs, but I prefer not taking chances.

Feisty56 wrote on October 9, 2014, 10:25 PM

Yes, as a substitute teacher it wouldn't do for you to be ill when the teachers are too. : )

paigea wrote on October 9, 2014, 11:25 PM

And of course, today I've been struck with the sniffles and sneezes. bleah!

bestwriter wrote on October 9, 2014, 11:30 PM

Hands are the place for germs build up.

Feisty56 wrote on October 9, 2014, 11:32 PM

Ouch, I'm sorry to hear that. I hope it is something that comes and goes quickly.

paigea wrote on October 9, 2014, 11:35 PM

I hope so and I tend to be very healthy. Rarely get sick and doesn't last long.

BarbRad wrote on October 9, 2014, 11:42 PM

And if you are in the hospital, you are supposed to watch to make sure your nurses and doctors wash their hands before they touch you.

Ruby3881 wrote on October 11, 2014, 10:12 PM

This is a great reminder to us all! I'm glad you mentioned the antibacterial soap not being necessary. Like many things in life, that's been overused and can actually lead to resistant strains of disease evolving.

BarbRad wrote on December 14, 2014, 4:05 AM

Every hospital patient is instructed to make sure all medical personnel and visitors who touch you wash their hands. Since patients may not be awake, visiting family should also watch for this.

Feisty56 wrote on December 14, 2014, 8:51 PM

Oh yes, I watch that at the hospital and at the doctor's offices, too.

Feisty56 wrote on December 14, 2014, 8:52 PM

And the triclosan itself, the active ingredient in the antibacterial soaps, has its own set of potential side effects.

Feisty56 wrote on December 14, 2014, 8:53 PM

This is a good reminder. : )