|6/16/2013 6:01:00 AM|
WASH YOUR HANDS
Simple advice still the best for your health
Yavapai Regional Medical Center
The best modern medical science confirms what your mom told you all along: You need to wash your hands.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates that regular and thorough hand washing could reduce some disease-associated deaths by up to 50 percent. When asked, 95 percent of people claim that they wash their hands after using the toilet. When some 8,000 people were monitored in five cities across the U.S., however, the number proved to be closer to 67 percent.
That's a disturbing statistic when you consider that 80 percent of all infectious diseases are spread by touch. In fact, according to health experts, the single most important thing you can do without a vaccine to avoid getting the flu is to simply wash your hands.
It sounds very simple, but it is true. Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them. If soap and water are not available, a hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol can quickly reduce the number of germs on your hands. It is important to note, though, that sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty.
What is the right way to wash your hands?
Wet your hands with clean, running water and apply soap. It makes little difference if the water is warm or cold.
Rub your hands together to make the soap lather, making sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Rinse your hands well under running water until all trace of the soap lather is gone.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air-dry them.
A large percentage of food-borne disease is spread by contaminated hands. Proper hand washing is especially important after preparing food, especially meat and poultry - as well as before eating.
Other particularly important times to wash are:
When treating a wound (yours or another's) or caring for a sick person.
When inserting or removing contact lenses.
After blowing your nose, or coughing or sneezing into your hands.
After handling garbage, household chemicals or dirty rags.
After using the toilet or changing a diaper.
That final point is very important for a lot of reasons. Currently, for example, the leading cause of death among children is pneumonia, and the second leading cause is infection due to diarrhea. Good hygiene, including thorough and regular hand washing, has been shown to cut the number of these deaths by as much as one-quarter.
Sometimes the simplest things are the most effective. But precisely because they are simple, they can be overlooked or minimized. When it comes to hand washing, that is too often the case.
So, to protect yourself and others, it's a good idea to listen to your mom: Go wash your hands. We'll all be a little healthier for it.
Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by:
Removing all toxins, bacteria, foreign matter, etc. from your hands actually reduces your natural immune systems combative strength. This is illustrated by the fact many vaccines are created to create a battle with your ability to fight back, which greatly increases your tolerance. Keeping squeaky clean can lower your immune so much that many environmental allergens, etc.are not tackled by your now weakened immune system.
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