Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has continued to take its toll on Australia. While our government and communities are working to help make the situation more tolerable for everyone, we must continue to do our due diligence to stop the spread.
One way we can do that is by washing our hands as often as possible and encouraging our children and loved ones to do the same.
But why is handwashing important?
Let's look at the facts and dissect why everyone in our communities should be encouraging handwashing as often as possible.
Why is Handwashing Important?
Handwashing has always been important in disease prevention. But nowadays, it is even more so.
Handwashing has always been advised by WHO (World Health Organization) and governmental authorities to help prevent the spread of all viruses, COVID-19 included.
Washing your hands with simple soap and water can help wash viruses and bacteria off of your skin. It helps you, and your family, stay healthy in that it prevents oral transmission of bacteria.
For instance, if you touch something with a virus on it and touch your face or eat, this can cause you to become ill or catch a virus. But washing your hands, even with soap and water you'll get at the drugstore, is incredibly effective.
Do I Need Any Kind of Special Soap?
If you're not working in a hospital or care home, you and your family do not need any special kind of soap for effective results. While some soaps label themselves as antibacterial, there is no proof that these work more effectively than other soaps.
Whether you use fancy smelling soaps from a luxury store or the cheapest bar soap imaginable, they're all effective. So, don't rush out to stock up on products that claim they do more than they do, because you're just wasting your money in that regard.
It is thought by the FDA in the United States that some antibacterial hand soaps that you wash your hands with can make you become antibiotic-resistant. As such, it isn't recommended that you use it too often, but once in a while is fine for you to use.
How Should I Wash My Hands?
While we've all been taught to wash our hands since we were children, the COVID-19 crisis has shown us that we aren't all clear on the proper procedures. Or, at least, many of us have needed a brush up since our school days.
As we stated above, any type of soap you use with water is effective at combating the virus, as well as other bacteria and non-COVID viruses. But, the soap is only effective if you wash your hands fully and thoroughly; otherwise, you may have not even washed your hands at all.
Step 1: Wet Your Hands
Wet your hands underneath the tap. The water does not have to be hot for it to be effective, as it is a myth that it will kill more germs. The water should be comfortable on your skin.
Step 2: Turn Off the Tap and Lather Your Hands
The next step is to lather your hands with soap. Do this by rubbing your hands on the soap and then rubbing your hands together, or by dispensing liquid soap on your hands.
You should rub your hands together, first. Then, interlace your fingers so you get between them. Next, put your fingertips in the palm of each hand and lather them up. After that, run the soap over the backs of your hands and down to your wrists. Don't forget to soap up your thumbs as well.
This should take you approximately 20 seconds, or enough time to sing "Happy Birthday" twice.
Step 3: Rinse Your Hands
Turn on the tap and rinse your hands thoroughly, getting off any excess residue. Once you've rinsed your hands, turn the tap off with your elbow, or take a paper towel and turn it off. This way, you do not transfer any germs you were carrying from before you washed your hands to now.
Step 4: Dry Your Hands
Make sure you dry your hands after you've washed them. Moisture can cause viruses to live within them, so you're actually more susceptible than you would have been had you not dried your hands at all.
Using single-use paper towels is the best way to dry your hands, but it is not necessarily the most environmentally friendly. If you live in a home with several people, you may wish to designate towels for certain people and not cross-contaminate.
How Often Should I Wash My Hands?
Apart from any protocol that may be in place in your work, you should wash your hands, and encourage your children to wash their hands, as often as possible.
Good times to wash your hands include:
- Any time you have been to the bathroom
- Before you eat
- Before and after preparing food
- After petting animals
- After being in contact with animal waste
- After riding public transportation
- After touching a dirty surface like a rubbish bin
- Before and after touching wounds
- Before and after taking medication
- After wiping or blowing your nose
- After coming into contact with bodily fluid; either of your own or your child's
- After being in contact with dirt or they when they are dirty.
These habits should be adopted immediately, and not just because of COVID-19. These are good habits to have at home and while out and about, even after the pandemic ends. As such, you are teaching your children these habits are not temporary and should be instilled as soon as they're capable.
Additionally, it is essential to try and remember not to touch your face if you have not washed your hands. This can lead to transmission of germs from your hands into your body itself.
What If I'm Not Near Soap and Water?
Unfortunately, sinks aren't portable. As such, there are times throughout the day when we are unable to wash our hands. These include being in the car and outings into nature.
Thankfully, antibacterial hand sanitiser can help with that, and will also help keep COVID-19 at bay.
What Type of Hand Sanitiser is Effective Against COVID-19?
The hand sanitizer you use must contain at least 60% alcohol. Anything less is ineffective against COVID and other viruses and bacteria.
It is not advised that you make your own hand sanitiser, as this can cause more problems than it solves. Instead, it is recommended that you purchase hand sanitiser to have with you at all times. It is incredibly useful, especially when you have children and are out and about getting errands done.
Fevermates has two types of antibacterial hand sanitiser, a gel and a spray. Both contain 70% alcohol, making them pass the test of effective against bacteria. The hand sanitiser can be used on hands, while the disinfectant is perfect for both hands and surfaces.
The disinfectant is perfect for carrying around, especially when doing grocery runs. This way, you can wipe down your trolley, and your hands, before and after you use it.
They're both made in Australia, making purchasing them a fantastic way to help the Australian economy during this tough time.
Other Ways to Protect Against COVID-19
Handwashing is paramount when it comes to protecting yourself, and your family, against COVID-19. There is no substitute for washing your hands or using hand sanitiser.
However, wearing a mask when you go out is a great way to stay protected. The more people who wear masks, the more people are protected against the virus itself. Although masks are difficult to come by, we have 10 packs of 3-ply paper masks for yourself and your family.
In addition to following social distancing measures, you should keep your home as clean as possible. Wipe down surfaces and common areas often. Keep your bathrooms scrubbed, and wash your showers and toilet with bleach routinely.
You should also always be sure to wash the taps with bleach to ensure that you're not passing viruses between housemates or family members.
Fevermates Has All of Your Needs Covered
So, why is handwashing important? Because it helps slow and can even halt the spread of germs and viruses. Even without COVID-19, it is a crucial part of basic hygiene.
At Fevermates, we've got everything covered to help you and your family get through COVID-19, as well as general illnesses and ailments. Have a look at some of our products, like our signature product Fevermates, that make tracking your child's fever when they're not feeling their best a little bit easier.