We all know how important it is to wash our hands. Our fingers and palms come in contact with and carry a host of germs, and it’s how many of us end up getting sick. With the ongoing pandemic, teaching the public about proper hand washing is a priority.
Despite it being a skill that even a child can master, many people don’t follow proper hand washing techniques. Here are five mistakes you may be committing.
1. Not Washing Long Enough
On average, people only spend about 6 seconds washing their hands, which is significantly shorter than the recommended 20 seconds. Experts suggest singing “Happy Birthday” twice to keep track of how long you’re at the sink. Other song suggestions also work, as long as it’s at least 20 seconds long.
You have to wash your hands long enough to remove pathogens on your skin effectively. Make sure you rub vigorously to get rid of oils, especially because germs stick to the oils on your hands. Likewise, if you’re only taking up a few seconds, you’re likely not covering all areas of your hands.
2. Forgetting to Clean Between Your Fingers
Because many people tend to wash their hands quickly, they only go over the palms and backs of their hands when rinsing. If you do this, you’re not cleaning all surfaces of your hands that come in contact with germs. When washing your hands, don’t forget the following areas:
- Between the fingers
- Around the thumbs
- Under the nails
- Back of the hands
3. Leaving Your Hands Wet
Now you know how long you need to wash your hands and what areas you have to soap, but here’s a question for you: do you dry your hands properly after washing?
When To set an appointment, you may call any of our offices or use this secure online form. We also have telehealth services available to attend to your needs while we navigate through the current health crisis.you leave your hands wet, you’re more likely to pick up and spread germs. Bacteria and viruses thrive in damp environments. Drying your hands can also get rid of any remaining pathogens you might still have on the surface of your hands.
When you’re at home, a clean towel will suffice. However, if you’re outside and don’t have immediate access to a clean cloth or hand towel, paper towels work just as well. Restrooms may also have hand dryers, although it might take some time to get rid of dampness on your skin.
4. Touching the Restroom Door and Other Surfaces After Washing
After washing your hands, you will need to use a hand or paper towel to turn the faucet off since you opened it using dirty hands. When it’s time to leave the restroom after drying your hands, make sure you also avoid touching the doorknob directly to limit contamination.
Avoid touching surfaces that many people use. If you do it immediately after you clean your hands, your proper hand washing technique goes down the drain. These surfaces include the doorknob, faucet, and countertops. Make sure to also clean these areas of your own bathroom regularly.
5. Not Washing Often Enough
Try to think about how many times a day you wash your hands. Chances are, you’re not doing it often enough. You can quickly accumulate germs on your skin after a few hours. Some of your daily activities can also make you more likely to get germs on your hands.
Remember to wash your hands:
- before and after handling food, especially meat
- before and after treating a wound
- after using the restroom
- after coughing and sneezing
- after handling garbage
- after going out in public areas
- before and after handling pet food
- after playing with pets
- after handling equipment in the office
- before putting on makeup
Comprehensive Health and Wellness Services in Sarasota and Manatee County
It’s vital to be informed about proper hygiene techniques. Following these procedures helps keep you and the people around you safe and healthy. Because there’s a lot of misinformation floating around, it’s best to get your information directly from medical experts.
Our providers at the Intercoastal Medical Group are highly capable and can help you with all your health concerns. From allergies and asthma to neurology and internal medicine, we have specialists who can cater to your medical needs.
To set an appointment, you may call any of our offices or use this secure online form. We also have telehealth services available to attend to your needs while we navigate through the current health crisis.