How to Keep Your Family Healthy with Better Handwashing

How to Keep Your Family Healthy with Better Handwashing

Our hands are often the first point of contact for everything we touch. This means that our hands are both the first defense against, and the gateway for, germs getting into our systems. Nearly 80% of illness-causing germs use hands as a means of travel. 1 Germs like salmonella, E. coli, and viruses like the common cold and influenza. Every time we touch something, we’re spreading and collecting germs. Then we touch our mouths, our eyes, our food, and the next thing we know, we’re not feeling so well. And neither is the rest of our family.

That’s why good hand hygiene is an important daily practice. It doesn’t matter if you use soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer, keeping our hands clean is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs and illness. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that handwashing can reduce respiratory illnesses in the general population by between 16–21% and reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23–40%. 2

Here’s a quick guide to help you maintain good hand hygiene and keep your family protected from germs.

When to wash your hands 

Your day gets busy, we know. Dealing with work and the kids and household chores and everything else, it can be easy to let a simple thing like washing your hands slip by you. Germs thrive by you not cleaning your hands. They can survive for three hours on an unwashed hand, and just one of those germs can multiply eight million times.3 What’s more, a single gram of human feces can contain one trillion germs.4

To keep illness causing germs away, here’s when you should wash your hands throughout the day:5

  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After going to the bathroom
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste
  • After touching garbage

Washing hands the right way

There are two ways to get your hands clean: using soap and water, the classic and most effective way, and using an alcohol-based sanitizer. Let’s look at the best way to do both.

Soap & water


A quick rinse with water and a small squirt of soap isn’t enough to wash the germs away. You need to spend a little more time at the sink with these five easy steps:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water. Warm or cold, it doesn’t matter.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap. The kind of soap you use, plain or anti-microbal, doesn’t matter. What counts is getting a good lather. If you’re prone to dry skin, you can also choose a soap that moisturizes like Remedy Olivamine Foaming Body Cleanser.
  3. Scrub the palms, tops and fingertips for at least 20 seconds or as long as it takes you to sing or hum the ABCs. 
  4. Rinse well under running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or let them air dry. It’s important to make sure your hands are completely dry. Germs spread 1,000 times more when your hands are damp. 6

Hand sanitizer


Sometimes, there just isn’t a sink around, which makes hand sanitizers a great option on the go. For hand sanitizer to be effective, you’ll need one that is at least 60% alcohol.7 One great option is Spectrum Advance Hand Sanitizer Gel, which contains 70% alcohol as well as aloe and vitamin E to help moisturize your skin. Follow these three simple steps when using hand sanitizer:

  1. Apply the right amount of product (found on the label) to the palm of one hand.
  2. Rub your hands together, making sure to get in between fingers and your nails.
  3. Keep rubbing in the gel until your hands are dry.

If you don’t like using hand sanitizer gel for any reason, Spectrum Advance Hand Sanitizer Wipes will also get the job done. And like the Spectrum Advance Hand Sanitizer Gel, the wipes have aloe and vitamin E.

Frequent hand washing can lead to dry skin, which is why our products contain aloe and vitamin E. But if your hands become cracked and you experience pain, you shouldn’t stop washing your hands or applying hand sanitizer, you simply need to moisturize. Remedy Essentials Moisturizing Body Lotion is pH balanced, hypoallergenic, fragrance free and safe for all ages. It is easily absorbed into the skin and doesn’t leave your hands feeling greasy or sticky.

Germs are everywhere. You can’t avoid them. What you can do is take the right steps to keep your hands clean by washing them regularly to reduce the risk of spreading germs so you and your family are better protected.

 


Citations:

  1. Tri-County Health Care, “Gross! Hand Hygiene and Other Germy Facts,” Dec. 12, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.tchc.org/blog/2018/12/12/hand-hygiene-and-germ-facts/
  2. CDC. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/why-handwashing.html
  3. Tri-County Health Care, “Gross! Hand Hygiene and Other Germy Facts,” Dec. 12, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.tchc.org/blog/2018/12/12/hand-hygiene-and-germ-facts/
  4. CDC. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/why-handwashing.html
  5. FoodSafety.gov, “Wash Your Hands,” April 14, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/2016/04/handwashing.html
  6. Tri-County Health Care, “Gross! Hand Hygiene and Other Germy Facts,” Dec. 12, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.tchc.org/blog/2018/12/12/hand-hygiene-and-germ-facts/
  7. CDC. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html

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