You and your family stop at your favorite drive-through for a quick bite to eat. While you place your order, the food worker responsible for making your meal is finishing up in the bathroom. In a hurry to get back to work, he rinses his hands off with cold water using minimal soap, dries his hands on his pants, and dispenses some Purel into his palms. Forty-eight hours later, you and your family are taking a trip to the doctor.
Unfortunately, we’re all guilty of not taking the time to properly wash our hands. Proper handwashing is a vital part of our health; not to mention, a vital part of the person’s health next to you. Millions of Americans don’t know how to wash their hands. The American Society for Microbiology published a survey in 2005 about our lack of handwashing. Ninety-one percent of those surveyed said they always wash their hands, but only eighty-three percent of them were seen doing so. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed also said they wash less when at home. Only forty-two percent of people surveyed said they wash after petting an animal. Thirty-two percent of people surveyed said they wash their hands after coughing and sneezing. And only twenty-one percent of those surveyed said they wash their hands after handling money.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you are at risk every time you touch your eyes, your nose, and your mouth because your hands are harbors for bacteria and viruses. Think about it: every time you touch something, you are collecting a new bacterium or virus. In fact, poor hand washing is the most common way to catch a cold. Infectious diseases are also spread through hand-to-hand contact and include the flu, gastrointestinal disorders, ear infections, strep throat, Hepatitis A, and meningitis. Food-bourne illnesses, such as E. Coli and Salmonella, are spread by poor hand washers too-such as through the drive-through worker to you and your family. The CDC reports that seventy-six million Americans contract foodborne illnesses each year; five thousand of them die. It’s unfortunate that in our busy lives, we forget how important hand washing really is.
So how are you supposed to wash your hands? To prevent spreading or contracting a disease/illness, take these steps:
- You must assume everything around you is contaminated. Avoid touching the sink and the faucets.
- Turn on the water using a paper towel.
- The water must be as hot as you can stand it; wet your hands and your wrists.
- Dispense the soap into your palms; lather, lather, lather.
- Scrub, scrub, scrub for twenty seconds. (Sing your ABC’s)
- Point your fingers down towards the drain and rinse both hands; Do not rub your hands together!
- Dry with a clean paper towel. Use it to turn off the faucets. In a public bathroom, also use it to open the door, then discard it.
Always wash after using the bathroom, after sneezing and coughing, and after petting animals or handling money; and before eating, serving, and preparing meals. Hand washing is the most simple way to prevent disaster. Remember that taking five extra minutes to properly wash your hands may save you and your loved ones from days of recovering from illness; and in some cases, even death. If you face any skin problem then you should check out Expert Podiatry billing and coding services at an affordable cost. These medical services will provide you the best medical services at really affordable prices as well.