Our hands come into contact with more surfaces and elements than any other part of our body, but how does hand washing protect your family? We’ve taken a closer look at why this seemingly simple habit of hand washing with soap and water is so important, and how it really can help to protect you and your family from lots of different illness causing germs.
If you have a baby or young infant it is essential that you practice good hand hygiene. Babies are especially vulnerable to illness because their immune systems are not yet mature.[i] Washing your hands with water and soap before picking up your baby, and insisting that other family members or visitors do the same, can help to protect your baby from potentially harmful germs.[ii] For protection on the go, carry a bottle of Dettol Instant Hand Sanitiser with you, this way if you are out and about you can quickly sanitise your hands even if there are no taps available to use.
If you have a baby or young infant you should always wash your hands in the following situations:
- Before picking up your baby
- Before feeding your baby
- Before and after changing a baby’s nappy
Children are also vulnerable to illness, such as influenza and diarrheal diseases because they are still building up their immune systems to lots of different viruses.[iii] These sorts of illness spread quickly, especially when lots of children are in close contact at school or nursery, through contaminated surfaces. Regular hand washing with soap, such as Dettol Original Bar Soap, and water has been proven to significantly reduce the rate of sickness, so will help to protect your children from illness.[iv] Make sure you set a good example for your children to follow and instil the practice of good hand hygiene in your children from a young age.
You should teach your children always wash their hands:
- Before eating (at home and at school)
- After playing outside
- After using the toilet
- When they come home from school
Mum & Dad
Mum and dad are the heads of the house and the care givers; so it’s not just important for them to have clean hands but it’s also important for the young people they are looking after. Parents have lots of responsibility in the home from keeping it sparkling clean, to looking after the children and preparing food that is eaten by the rest of the family. For all of these things, and more, it’s very important for parents to keep their hands clean. The easiest way to do this is by washing your hands as often as possible with soap and water, to prevent the spread of unwanted germs.
Examples of when you should always wash your hands include:
- Before preparing food
- After handling raw food
- After doing household chores such as emptying the garbage or cleaning the kitchen
- Before and after caring children who are unwell
Correct Hand Washing Techniques
To ensure your hands are clean and protected from illness causing germs, teach your family to follow our simple 8 step hand washing guide
- Wet hands with clean warm running water
- Apply a small amount of Dettol soap
- Rub your palms together, (away from the water)
- Rub your fingers and thumbs and the bits in between
- Rub your nails on your palms
- Rub the back of each hand
- Rinse with clean running water
- Dry with a clean towel or paper towel
So there you have it, by simply washing your hands with soap and water you can protect yourself and your family from becoming unwell.[v]