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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why is hand washing important?

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Why is hand washing important?
Hand washing is a vital way to keep healthy people from contracting the flu. It cannot be overemphasized: it is absolutely essential that people wash their hands correctly, and wash them often.
What is the correct method to wash hands?
Remove all jewellery from the hands.
First wet hands under running water.

Apply soap to wet hands. If using bar soap, allow it to drain between uses. It is preferable to use liquid soap or small bars of soap that are changed frequently.
Rub all surfaces of the hands vigorously for a minimum of 10 seconds.
Rinse the hands under running water.
Dry with a clean cloth or disposable paper towel, or hot air dryer.
Avoid splashing.
Use a paper towel to turn off the tap. This prevents your hands from becoming re-contaminated.
If running water is not available, hands that are not visibly soiled can be cleaned with a waterless hand wash product. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
When should I wash my hands?
Before, during and after food preparation
Prior to eating
After using the toilet
After touching animals or animal waste
After touching the nose or mouth
After changing diapers / nappies
Whenever hands are dirty
What about waterless hand rubs?
These are only required where hand washing facilities are inadequate.
If hands are visibly soiled, the visible dirt must be removed first with soap and water.
Use of a waterless antiseptic agent is equivalent to washing with soap and water.

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