Hand-Washing 101: What You Need to Know
At this point, we’re all aware of the recent outbreak of, what the medical community has dubbed, “Coronavirus” or COVID-19 and unfortunately it’s causing mass panic for people around the world. While we understand that there is a reason to be cautious due to the high level of contagiousness and danger to those who are older or who have weakened immune systems, we feel the need to reassure our community, employees, and general readers that you can proactively protect yourself and your household with one simple practice.
Most of us have been washing our hands since our preschool years, and before that, we likely had parents washing them for us. From your early days of standing on tippy-toes atop a step stool to reach the sink in your bathroom at home, to days washing your hands after recess in the sinks at school, most of us accept the practice as a regular part of every day life now. However, many people are unknowingly washing their hands incorrectly, and therefore, ineffectively. That’s why we’re offering this hand washing 101!
To thoroughly clean your hands you really only need three things: soap, water, and a way to dry your hands. During times of sickness, we actually recommend using disposable towels (aka paper towels) since they are more sanitary and carry the lowest risk, but air drying, using a drying device (such as those in public restrooms) or keeping a fresh fabric towel on hand are also acceptable. The soap you choose really doesn’t make a huge difference in the effectiveness of washing your hands, but if you want added protection opting for an antibacterial option can be a good idea. In the end, thorough hand washing comes down to technique. Using warm water, wet your hands, then lather with soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds, being sure to cover all parts of your hands including the backs, and in between fingers. Rinse well (again with warm water) and then dry thoroughly. That’s it!
Not only is technique important, but frequency is as well. Washing your hands after every trip to the restroom, after touching surfaces outside of your home, after sneezing or coughing into your hand, etc. is necessary and important during a time of sickness.
Of course, the best way to prevent the spread of sickness is to stay home if you aren’t well. If you do feel as if you are in need of medical attention, call your doctor’s office and find out their current protocol for handling patients. Instead of just showing up (only to find out that they won’t see you and will send you on to the hospital) and exposing others to the risk, calling will give you an affirmative plan. Planning for your doctor or hospital visit also means having your insurance cards on hand and ready to go. If you have questions or concerns about your coverage during this time, Carroll Marshall Insurance is here to help.
We are proud to be part of such a strong community that is ready to face Coronavirus if and when it chooses to show up in Polk County…and we’ll certainly ALL have clean hands while waiting for it to arrive!