Yes, There Is A Right And A Wrong Way To Wash Your Hands!

wash your hands
Image source: UNICEF

Probably one of the easiest ways of protecting yourself and your families from various infections, particularly the coronavirus, is washing your hands properly at regular intervals throughout the day. 

Read: Schools In Pakistan Reopen But Are The Health & Hygiene Facilities Adequate Given The COVID19 Pandemic

Washing our hands merely with water or scrubbing the soap in a haste will not serve as much protection. To ensure protection against viruses such as COVID-19, it’s important to do some unlearning to get the hand-washing drill right!

Before we head on over to the do’s and don’ts of hand hygiene, here’s a quick trivia for you all to understand the importance of proper handwashing. 👇

An average person touches his/her face about fifteen to twenty-three times per hour! On the other, they wash their hands only about 10 times in a 24-hour cycle

Needless to say, this gives the bacteria and viruses plenty of opportunities to enter our bodies through our noses and mouths, and eventually leave us sick.

When to wash your hands

Other than getting your hand-washing routine on point, it is also important to ALWAYS wash your hands before preparing or eating food, or drinking something.

One shouldn’t have to remind this but please(!), absolutely wash your hands after using the toilet, or helping someone use a toilet and after changing a diaper.

You must also always wash your hands after taking out the trash and disposing off animal waste.

Do also wash your hands after blowing your nose and before nursing a wound.

How to wash your hands

  1. First, you need to properly wet your hands under warm or cold running water.
  2. Next, you need to apply soap or liquid hand wash to your hands. Make sure it is evenly spread everywhere. Now turn the tap off (be responsible, conserve water guys!), and scrub the back and front of your hands for at least 20 seconds. Make sure you don’t miss out on your fingers, the space between your fingers, wrists, thumbs and fingernails.
  3. Once you’re done, open the tap and wash off that soap from your hands nice and clean.
  4. Now dry your hands with a piece of clean towel or a tissue paper.

If you have children in your house, make sure you practice this act with them to teach them the right way of cleaning their hands. Since hands are home to thousands of bacteria and viruses, including the coronavirus, the spread of disease is almost inevitable if you miss out on these steps, and not take your hygiene seriously.

The don’ts of handwashing

  1. Do not rush through the process. The correct way of handwashing only requires 20 seconds of your time; it’s really not a lot so please don’t be lazy.
  2. Don’t touch any of the surfaces (e.g., the sink, the faucet, etc.) when washing your hands.
  3. Do not let your children unmonitored – at least for the first few weeks after beginning their handwashing practice – to ensure that they don’t miss an essential step.
monitor kids washing hands
Image source:

It is also important for you to regularly clean the surfaces that come in contact with your hands to avoid dissemination of germs.

Following all these steps is integral to keeping your families and yourselves safe from COVID-19 and other viruses.

For more information on how to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic, follow the COVID Free Pakistan campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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