WARNING: The contents of this blog will make you never want to pump soap out of a bottle again. Intrigued? Keep reading…
Health authorities have been banging on about the importance of washing your hands since the first outbreak of COVID-19. Since then, hand sanitising stations have popped up in public spaces, encouraging people to clean their hands and protect themselves against the virus.
Many infectious diseases spread from person-to-person through contaminated hands. This includes gastrointestinal infections such as salmonella and respiratory infections such as influenza and COVID-19. From pushing a trolley to turning a door knob, person-to-person contact is unavoidable which is why it’s important to ensure you regularly wash your hands and contain the spread of the virus.
Clearly, this problem isn’t new, with statistics showing how appalling our country's hand hygiene really is. Hope the barf bag is ready, because these statistics are pretty damn disgusting.
- One in five Australians don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet
- Only 20% of people wash their hands before preparing food
- Only 30% of people use soap when washing their hands
- Elevator buttons harbour 22% more bacteria than a toilet seat
- 94% of bank notes have traces of faecal waste on them. Yuck.
Hand washing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16%, so let’s all do our part to create a cleaner, safer and more hygienic community by regularly washing our hands with soap and water, or with hand sanitiser when soap and water is not available.
When to clean your hands?
- After going to the toilet
- Before, during and after preparing food
- Before eating
- After using a tissue or blowing your nose
- Before and after attending to sick children or family members
- After handling rubbish
- After handling animals
- When they are dirty
- After you sneeze or cough
- After prolonged use of objects known to harbour bacteria, such as mobile phones, door knobs and trolleys
How to clean your hands properly?
- Remove all jewellery, even rings, so you can reach all surfaces on your hands
- Wet hands with running water
- Apply soap (preferably using an automatic dispenser)
- Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds
- Make sure you cover all surfaces, including the backs of your hands and in between your fingers
- Rinse hands, making sure you remove all soap
- Dry your hands thoroughly with a paper towel, a clean hand towel or an air dryer if you are in a public bathroom.
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