Hand washing, more popularly known as hand sanitization, is the act of washing one’s hands using soap and water with hands-washing liquid to eliminate bacteria, viruses/bacteria, dirt, oil, or other foreign materials stuck on the hands. Washing the hands thoroughly is an important part of this process because damp and wet hands are easier to regain. Children and adults alike should practice handwashing to prevent the spread of germs and infections. In fact, according to health experts, handwashing can prevent up to seventy percent of the spread of contagious diseases such as measles, Rubella, and HPV. The following are reasons why it is so important to teach children proper handwashing:
Antibacterial soap is a necessary part of handwashing. It kills germs that may be in contact with the hands such as those found on the hands or objects used for hand sanitation such as telephones, razors, and other instrument handles. By using antibacterial soaps, a person can keep his or her hand’s cleaner, fresher, and easier to control. The best kinds of antibacterial soaps are those containing triclosan, a compound that prevents microbial growth.
Children should learn how to wash their hands properly and frequently. This helps prevent the spread of germs and illnesses. Many children don’t know how to wash their hands properly so they don’t learn early enough. One way parents can help children practice proper handwashing is to teach them how often they should wash their hands. Children should learn how many bags of soap or toothpaste to use to wash their hands before removing their gloves.
Using an alcohol-based sanitizer is helpful but expensive. Some people have tried using an alcohol-based sanitizer in the home but find it difficult to rinse the fabric with it. The sanitizer strips the fabric of its natural oils and leaves behind a residue that makes the fabric feel slippery. Some researchers recommend diluting the alcohol-based sanitizer to make it easier to rinse. However, these researchers advise against using the sanitizer for more than a couple of weeks as a treatment for hand washing because of possible health risks.
Using soap bars is a good alternative for children. These bars are easy to wash and usually do not leave any residue behind. They work especially well in the microwave because they have a short burst of heat that allows them to soften the handwashing soap without heating the fabric too much. It is important for children to understand how handwashing works to prevent spreading germs. For instance, using a cold compress to squeeze the soap bars between the fingers and then rinsing them off with cool water can help prevent the spread of bacteria.
An extra effort to clean the child’s hands might be necessary. A parent should wash their child’s hands every time they finish playing outdoors or doing anything outdoors. Cleaning outside helps keep germs from spreading, which is good for the child’s general health. This can reduce the risks for serious illnesses that can come from having unhygienic hands.
There are also a number of ways to reduce the spread of germs through hand washing. Instead of washing with soap, a parent or childcare provider should wash the hands with clean water and a narrow release detergent. For babies, parents can use a diluted formula of 1% of bleach to 10% of lukewarm water. This solution will kill germs, cleanses the hands thoroughly, and gives the child a clean water rinse.
It is important for the general public to practice good handwashing habits. Children can spread illness by being unsupervised with dirty hands. It is just as important for adults to practice good hand washing so that they can avoid spreading germs to others. If you have children and you want to teach them good handwashing practices, be sure to let them know to rinse their hands well when they finish playtime or before eating. In addition, when they finish playing outside, supervise them to make sure they are rinsed off thoroughly.