Global Handwashing Day: Follow healthy handwashing habits and stay germ-free

Global Handwashing Day is observed every year on 15th October around the world. The day is celebrated in order to create awareness among the masses about the significance of proper handwashing with soap as the most effective way to stay free from multiple diseases.

Global Handwashing Day follows the theme of “Make handwashing a habit” this year. It focuses on the importance of handwashing as a habit to remain disease-free. Hands are the main carriers of germs. For an effectual handwashing, one must wash hands at key moments such as after using a toilet, touching garbage or before/after eating food. Most of the people fail to understand that handwashing is the most cost-effective way to prevent diseases. Regular handwashing in the correct manner helps you wash bacteria and viruses that you might have picked from different places. If your annual health budget is on the higher side, try embracing regular handwashing.

When do you need to wash your hands?

  • After preparing/eating food
  • After using a toilet or changing a diaper
  • After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • After caring for a sick person, treating wounds
  • After handling garbage, gardening or cleaning the house
  • After playing with or touching an animal
  • After shaking hands with others

The right method for proper handwashing

  • Wet your hands with either warm or cold water
  • Apply liquid/bar soap to cover the surface of your hands
  • Rub your hands and make good amount of lather
  • Rub for at least 20 seconds and remember to scrub your wrists, fingers, back of the hands properly
  • Rinse hands with water and dry thoroughly with a single use towel
  • Use towel to turnoff the tap, if possible

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are deemed as proper alternative to handwashing when soap and water are not available. If you are purchasing a hand sanitizer, make sure it contains more than 50% alcohol. Follow the steps to use hand sanitizer properly:

  • Apply enough hand sanitizer to the palm of your hand to wet your hands completely
  • Rub your hands, covering every surface until your hands are dry

Always keep in mind

  • Dirt can accumulate in your nails, so keep them short.
  • To prevent dry skin, use a mild soap with warm water and then use a moisturiser.
  • Use hand sanitizers when there’s no soap or water.
  • Don’t wash your hands with water alone. Always use soap.
  • Regular handwashing is a vaccine to prevent infection and save lives.

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