Even if your hands appear to be clean, they may carry germs. Hands pick up micro-organisms (germs) in a number of ways. When people who are sick sneeze or cough, the germs that are making them sick are expelled into the air in tiny droplets. If these droplets get onto your hands, and then you touch your mouth, eyes or nose without washing away the germs, you carry the infection. You can also get sick if you don’t wash your hands before and after preparing food, after handling raw meat, and after using the toilet.
Washing your hands not only prevents you from getting sick, but it also reduces the risk of infecting others. If you don’t wash your hands properly before coming into contact with others, you can infect them with the germs on your hands. Other people can also get sick from the germs unwashed hands leave on shared objects like doorknobs, keyboards, and other equipment in the home or workplace. Washing your hands or using alcohol-based hand rubs correctly is the most effective thing you can do to protect yourself against a number of infectious diseases. Nature’s Aid Skin Gel or similar products can be made into hand sanitizer.
- 1 part Nature’s Aid Skin Gel
- 2 parts rubbing alcohol
- Mix ingredients
How to Wash Your Hands
When washing with soap use the following steps:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol-based hand cleansers are useful when soap and water are not available. In most cases antibacterial soap is not necessary for safe, effective hand hygiene.
- Remove any hand or arm jewellery you may be wearing and wet your hands with warm water. Add regular soap and rub your hands together, ensuring you have lathered all surfaces for at least 15 seconds. How long is 15 seconds? The length of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday.
- Wash the front and back of your hands, as well as between your fingers and under your nails.
- Rinse your hands well under warm running water, using a rubbing motion.
- Wipe and dry your hands gently with a paper towel or a clean towel. Drying them vigorously can damage the skin.
- Turn off the tap using the paper towel so that you do not re-contaminate your hands. When using a public bathroom, use the same paper towel to open the door when you leave.
- If skin dryness is a problem, use a moisturizing lotion.
For alcohol-based hand rubs use the following steps:
- An alcohol-based hand rub can be used if soap and water are not available.
- If your hands are visibly soiled, it is best to use soap and water. If it’s not possible to wash with soap and water, use towelettes to remove the soil, then use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Use hand rubs according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure your hands are dry, as wet hands will dilute the product.
- Use enough product to cover all the surfaces of your hands and fingers.
- Rub your hands together until the product has evaporated. If dry skin is a problem, use a moisturizing lotion