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Back to Hand Washing Basics
Every fall I have been asked and am glad to serve by teaching a class to our dear 1st graders on when, how
and why we are to wash our hands. School classrooms can be an incubator of a great variety of virus’ and
research shows that regular hand washing can greatly reduce the spread of germs.
You too, may have learned as a child how to wash your hands, but chances are that all these years later
you may have gotten sloppy with the technique. Studies show that adults don’t wash their hands correctly:
23% typically don’t use soap; 95% don’t wash long enough; and (depending upon the various studies) 1030% don’t bother to wash at all!
How you wash can be just as important as how often you wash, so here are common mistakes you may be
making when washing your hands:
You don’t wash before a meal
Throughout the day, as you touch public surfaces, you pick up germs on your skin. While God
created your skin to be a protective barrier, as soon as you put your germ-filled hands near a
porous area like your mouth, you give the germs an opportunity to enter your system.
You skip washing after using the bathroom
When you leave a bathroom without washing, you also leave with bacteria picked up from the
toilet handle, the lock on the stall, and the door handle of the bathroom door. Keep in mind that
most people touch their face an average of 16 times an hour. All of those face touches give germs
plenty of opportunities to get into your mouth, nose, or eyes.
You don’t use soap
The purpose of soap is to lift the germs off of your skin. The surfaces of bacteria and viruses are
made partly of fatty materials, and the ingredients in soap create a chemical reaction that grabs
onto the germs so that they rinse off with the lather.
You don’t scrub long enough
Scrub for at least 20 seconds – long enough to hum “Jesus Loves Me.” Be sure to rub both your
palms, the backs of your hands, and between your fingers. To do that, place one hand on top of
the other and scrub with your fingers interlaced, then switch. Also, be sure to clean underneath
your nails (bacteria and viruses can get trapped there) by rubbing the tips of your fingers on the
palm of your other hand.
Source: Better Health, fall 2015
Blessings, as we honor God with our bodies,
Sue Bolha RN, Parish Nurse
[email protected]
Answer Key - KidsHealth in the Classroom
Answer Key - KidsHealth in the Classroom