Hand Hygiene: Hand Washing
11 Jan 2018

Hand washing is the best and easiest way to prevent the spread of infection, this will protect you and others from illnesses such as the common cold, flu and even tummy bugs.

A quick rinse under the tap and wiping your hands on your clothes because the queue for the hand dryer is too long just won’t cut it. Proper hand washing should take around 20 seconds or as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Now I’m not suggesting that you really stand around singing happy birthday but how about a verse or two from your favourite song or humming along to that tune that has been stuck in your head all day long, whatever works for you.

Follow these simple steps to wash your hands thoroughly.

  1. Wet your hands with water, warm or cold is perfectly fine.
  1. Apply enough soap to cover your hands.
  1. Rub your hands together in circular motions palm to palm.
  1. Rub the back of your left hand with your right palm with interlaced fingers. Repeat with your other hand.
  1. Rub your hands palm to palm with your fingers interlaced.
  1. Rub the backs of your fingers against your palms with fingers interlocked.
  1. Clasp your left thumb with your right hand and rub in rotation. Repeat with your left hand and right thumb.
  1. Rub the tips of your fingers in the other palm in a circular motion going backwards and forwards. Repeat with your other hand.
  1. Rinse your hands with water, warm or cold is perfectly fine.
  1. Dry thoroughly with a disposable towel.
  1. Use the disposable towel, elbow or back of hand to turn off the tap.

Protection against harmful bacteria is important. To avoid the panic when immediate access to soap and water isn’t available, we recommend you apply a single dose of Q Shield Skin Care in the morning or evening for all day protection.

Now you know how to wash your hands, do you know when?

It is common sense to wash your hands when they are visibly dirty, but germs are invisible to the human eye so we need to be thinking beyond visible dirt if we are going to prevent the spread of germs.

When to wash your hands:

  • Before, during and after preparing food. This is especially important when handling raw food like uncooked chicken, meat and vegetables.
  • Before you eat.
  • Before and after caring for someone who is unwell.
  • After using the toilet.
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound.
  • Before and after changing nappies or helping young children clean up after going to the toilet.
  • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • After touching pets, animals or animal waste.
  • After touching rubbish.

If you are interested in hand washing, we found the WHO, CDC and NHS websites very useful.

If you have any new and interesting ways to encourage young children to develop good hand hygiene habits, please share them with us on social media.