How to wash your hands
Washing your hands is one of the simplest and easiest ways to protect yourself and most importantly others and the more vulnerable from the coronavirus and other illnesses such as flu.
It is important to regularly clean your hands to stop the spread of infection. This is because hand sanitisers and soap remove dirt, lingering viruses and bacteria from transferring to other objects and people.
But washing your hands is only effective if you know how to do it properly. A quick blast under the sink is not enough to keep your hands clean and will not do much for keeping you and others safe.
There are many videos online to help show you how to do this effectively, the NHS have provided a very easy one to follow and remember.
Here are the general rules:
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds: Most recommendations for the timing of cleaning your hands is usually to music - you should aim to complete the task in the same amount of time it would take you to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
- First you will need to soak your hands in water ensuring they are wet
- Next, ensure that you have applied an adequate amount of soap to cover your entire hands
- Then rub hands together, using each hand to rub the back and fronts of the other hand making sure to clean the space between your fingers and nails
- Push the hands together and rub in between the fingers
- Use the back of your fingers to clean your palms
- Encase your thumb with your other hand to clean, then repeat on the other side
- Using the tips of your fingers to rub the palm repeating with both hands
- Rinse with water
- Dry your hands - ensuring that they are dried properly preferably with a disposable towel
- Turn off the tap with the disposable towel
When do you need to wash your hands normally:
After using the bathroom (toilet)
Before and after food preparation including the handling of raw meats and veg
Before eating food
After sneezing or coughing
After blowing your nose
Before and after treating a wound
After touching any animal including pets
When you need to wash your hands to prevent the spread of coronavirus:
Before leaving your home and returning
Making contact with any item outside your home, this include groceries even if they've been delivered
Arriving at work and returning home
After using any form of public transport
Getting in and out of your car