Trafford loves clean hands

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Why you should wash your hands

Washing your hands properly removes dirt, viruses, and bacteria to stop them spreading to other people and objects, which can spread illnesses such as food poisoning, COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, or diarrhoea.

Some bacteria are now resistant to the antibiotics we have, and it is possible to pick these up on or hands. The bacteria can survive on our skin or inside our bodies, such as inside our gut if swallowed with food, without knowing that they are there.

We may find out we have picked them up later on in life when antibiotics which should work for an infection fail and the resistance has been passed between the different bacteria. Resistant germs can also be passed to children and people with underlying illness who are susceptible to infections.

Clean hands can stop people picking up infections and spreading them to others.

When you should wash your hands

There are 5 key moments according to the NHS:

  1. after using the toilet or changing a nappy
  2. before eating or handling food and drinks
  3. after blowing or picking your nose, sneezing or coughing
  4. after touching pets and animals, the food they eat, and after cleaning their cages or changing litter
  5. before and after treating a cut, spot, sore, or wound

Also remember to clean your phone and other devices regularly, these are your ‘third’ hand. Clean your hands before getting in bed at night.

Wash your hands when you have been out and return home. Did you know around 72% of shopping trolleys have been found to be contaminated with bacteria which are found in faeces?

How you should wash your hands

Think time and technique. For around 20 seconds:

  • Wet
  • Soap
  • Wash
  • Rinse
  • Dry

Creating bubbles with soap and water, then moving the bubbles around the hand with gentle friction. Remember in-between fingers and thumbs. Then rinsing off with water will help to wash dirt and potentially harmful germs.

Alcohol based hand rub can be used on clean hands but may not be able to remove the organisms which cause food poisoning or diarrhoea and vomiting illness, so should not be used after using the toilet, and preferably not before eating with your fingers.

Why and how to look after your skin

Use a hand moisturizer regularly, 3 times per day is recommended to keep our skin healthy and intact.

Switch to a non-perfumed or skin friendly hand wash if skin becomes sore. If skin is unhealing, speak to GP or pharmacist for advice.