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The importance of washing your hands

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day and this year’s theme focuses on the link between handwashing, food hygiene, and nutrition.

Washing hands with soap
Handwashing/ iStock

“Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick,” reports the Center For Disease Control and Prevention.

It also states that "keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water."

To ensure that your hands are thoroughly cleaned, it’s important to understand when and how to wash them:.

How to wash your hands correctly

You have to use clean water and soap to wash your hands.

To wash them correctly, you have to rub the soap rapidly against all surfaces, including the back, in between your fingers, and wrist. You then have to rinse them with running water and ensure that no traces of soap is left. Lastly, use a clean cloth to dry them.

ALSO READ: Four great benefits of washing your clothes by hand

When to wash your hands

- You must wash your hands before, during, and after preparing food.

- It’s also important that you wash your hands before you eat and after you have eaten.

- You must wash your hands before feeding a baby.

- It is also important that you wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing a nappy or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet.

- You have to wash your hands before and after caring for a sick person. 

- You must wash your hands after treating a cut or wound.

- Wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

- Also, wash your hands after touching garbage.

Image courtesy of iStock/ monkeybusinessimages

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