Wash Your Worries Away

    04 Apr 2014

    World Hand Hygiene Day is celebrated in New Zealand on May 5 and, with the onset of the cold and flu season, washing your hands properly is vital to protecting your immunity. Studies show a significant reduction in the spread of colds/flu in schools where a handwashing protocol is in place.

    Ideally, you want to wash your hands before, during and after preparing food, before eating food, while caring for someone who is sick and, of course, after using the toilet. Ideally you want to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
    Whether you use flowing soap or bar soap doesn’t matter, and don’t be fooled by slick advertising for expensive specific anti-bacterial soaps. All soap is anti-bacterial.

    In the old days, a terribly well spoken, white-coated scientist would instruct you as follows...

    1. Wet your hands with water and apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces
    2. Rub your hands together, up to and including your wrists
    3. Put your right palm over the back of your left with linked fingers, and vice versa
    4. Rub your hands palm to palm with your fingers linked
    5. Rub around your left and right thumb
    6. Rub with closed fingers on the right hand of the left palm and vice versa
    7. Rinse your hands well with water
    8. Dry your hands with a paper towel

    Try telling your kids or teens that! It all sounds terribly complicated, but the important thing to remember is: Wash all areas, then rinse and dry properly. Easy! And a great way to a healthier winter.