Handwashing is one simple habit that can save your life if you follow the proper steps. By Dawn Chen
Photo: Jamie Grill/Tetra Images/Corbis
Washing your hands properly is like giving yourself an express vaccination against a host of illnesses and infections – it can even reduce germ count by up to 99 per cent! In light of recent health scares, it’s a good idea to wash your hands regularly to protect yourself from falling sick. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) lists hand washing as a means of preventing the transmission and infection of the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and Ebola virus. Here’s how to wash your hands properly, as advised by the WHO.
Photo: World Health Organization (WHO)
0. Wet your hands with water.
1. Apply enough soap to cover both hands.
2. Rub palms together.
3. Rub back of one hand with palm of the other. Switch sides.
4. Rub palm to palm with fingers interlaced.
5. Rub back of fingers, interlocking fingers of both hands.
6. Rub back of thumbs.
7. Rub fingernails of one hand against palm of the other. Switch sides.
8. Rinse with water.
9. Dry thoroughly with a paper towel.
10. Use paper towel to turn off the tap.
The whole handwashing process should take you about 15 to 30 seconds, or the duration it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice. And you already know to wash your hands after using the toilet and before handling food, but make it a point to do so after touching common surfaces like lift buttons and handrails too.
Scary fact: Only about 60 per cent of children wash their hands for personal hygiene, according to the recent Lifebuoy Cost of Infections Study 2014. Remind your loved ones to practice handwashing if they haven’t made it a habit yet!