Hand Washing & the Coronavirus Pandemic: Here Is the Right Way to Wash Your Hands by Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), washing hands with soap remains the most effective defense we have against the COVID-19 pandemic. Handwashing has always been one of the most effective means to keep viruses and diseases at bay, and it is a simple act that pays dividends when it comes to keeping yourself healthy and safe. To wash your hands like a pro, follow the following steps:
- Run your hands under clean, warm or cold water.
- Shut the tap and apply hand soap to your hands.
- Lather your hands, including the front and back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
- Scrub for 20 seconds – the length of time it takes to sing the chorus of “Sweet Caroline,” “Frozen” or two rounds of “Happy Birthday.”
- Turn on the tap and rinse your hands thoroughly.
- Dry your hands with a clean towel.
While washing your hands frequently is recommended, these are the times when it is most important to suds up:
- Before, during or after preparing food.
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
- Before and after treating a cut or wound.
- After using the toilet.
- After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing.
- After touching or feeding an animal.
- After touching or emptying garbage.
When soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content to clean your hands and kill germs until the next opportunity to wash your hands with soap and water.
Handwashing has great health benefits for the whole family. It’s never too early or too late to make handwashing a priority, so soap up, sing and stay healthy.
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