What’s the Easiest Way to Stay Healthy? Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands frequently is the best way to keep from getting sick, and to stop the spread of illness. It only requires soap and water, or alcohol-type sanitizer from a bottle.

Teach the children well

Children especially are at risk of becoming infected from dirty hands — either their own or those of others. So it is a good idea to teach good hand cleaning techniques from an early age. And to keep their nails cut short. doTERRA representatives say that a recent study found that only 35 percent of American households with children now require all members to wash their hands before a meal. This is down drastically from 85 percent back in 1990. Once children are trained and encouraged to wash their hands regularly, the chances are very good that they will grow into adults who continue the same pattern.

Do it a lot!

When you touch a person or a surface of an object during the day you pick up all sorts of germs. When you rub your eyes or mouth or nose you introduce those germs into your own body. And according to Elliott Greenberg, founder of Wholesale Janitorial Supply, “keeping your hands as clean as possible is an easy way to cut down on the potential introduction of harmful microbes into your body.”

Before you do any of these things, wash your hands:

Cooking.

Breastfeeding.

Using contact lenses.

Changing bandages or taking medicine.

Wash your hands after the following:

Working with raw food, especially protein.

Bathroom breaks.

Working or playing with animals of any kind, even household pets.

A sneeze or a cough, even if you do it into a kleenex. Ditto with blowing your nose.

Caring for an injury that involves an open wound, even a scratch.

Handling laundry or trash.

Shaking hands.

A visit to a clinic or hospital, or even the home of a sick family member or friend.

And, of course, whenever your hands appear to be dirty you should wash them. Pay special attention to your nails; even if you don’t see a visible line of grime or any other indication, the nails pick up and harbor most unseen disease-carrying microorganisms on your hands.

Washing the hands is a simple and logical process, but too often it can be rushed and ineffective. To thoroughly wash your hands:

Use either warm or cold water — very hot water tends to discourage you from washing them long enough to be truly effective.

Work up a visible lather.

Rub your hands together for at least twenty-five seconds, or longer.

Rinse thoroughly, until you can no longer feel any soapiness on your hands.

Use a clean cloth towel or paper towel to dry hands thoroughly.

Turn off the tap(s) using a paper towel.