Prevent infections: When washing your hands, hum two happy birthdays

Prevent infections: When washing your hands, hum two happy birthdays

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Sum Happy Birthday twice for proper hand washing
Washing hands is the most important hygiene rule. This can significantly reduce the risk of various diseases. However, this has to be done correctly and long enough. A birthday song can help.

Thorough washing of hands reduces the number of germs enormously
Even the youngest learn that they should wash their hands before eating and after using the toilet. Because: “If you wash your hands regularly, you protect yourself and others from many pathogens. Because thorough hand washing reduces the number of germs on the hands to up to a thousandth, ”writes the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) on the website“ ”. However, there are a few things to consider when washing hands.

Contact with pathogens cannot be avoided
In everyday life, contact with germs can never be completely avoided. When you shake hands or touch objects or pets, pathogens stick to your hands, which later penetrate the body via the mucous membranes, for example when you rub your eyes.

“Up to 80 percent of all contagious diseases are transmitted through the hands. These include diseases such as colds, the flu or contagious gastrointestinal infections, ”reports the BZgA.

"Washing hands is a simple and effective measure that can protect against infection," the experts continue.

In a message from the dpa news agency, Andrea Rückle from the BZgA explains important information on the occasion of the World Hand Hygiene Day on May 5.

When to wash your hands
When asked when to wash your hands, it helps to visualize where germs occur in everyday life.

For example, when grilling: you take the bacteria on raw poultry meat over the finished sausage if you don't wash your hands in between.

This can quickly lead to diarrhea. Appropriate hygiene is also particularly important for other raw foods.

Furthermore, the hands should also be cleaned after using the toilet, coming home, before eating, after taking out the garbage and after contact with an animal.

Hum the song Happy Birthday twice
Washing your hands without soap is not pointless, since you can also wash off dirt and some pathogens with pure water.

But it is more effective to soap yourself: the inside of the hands, the back of the hand, the spaces between fingers, fingernails and thumbs that are often forgotten. The water temperature is irrelevant.

Washing your hands thoroughly usually takes 20 to 30 seconds. A song can help here. The children's aid organization Unicef ​​once recommended that children hum two Happy Birthday hands washing.

This is the optimal time to remove most dangerous bacteria and viruses. The advice for children is not wrong for adults either.

After soaping, the hands are rinsed under running water and dried.

More soap removes more bacteria
As Rückle explains in the dpa report, liquid soaps, especially in public toilets, are more hygienic than soap bars, on which a thin film of bacteria can sometimes form.

"The most important thing is to use soap at all," says the expert. However, this does not have to contain any antibacterial additives. The amount, on the other hand, plays an important role: Studies have shown that more soap removes more bacteria.

It is also important to dry your hands properly, since microorganisms multiply more easily in a damp environment.

At home, everyone should use their own towel, which is changed regularly and washed at a minimum of 60 degrees. Disposable towels are ideal in public toilets.

But what to do if there is no way to wash your hands, for example after touching an animal in the petting zoo? Rückle advises in such situations not to touch your face or touch food. Then the pathogens do not get into the body.

Cleaning wipes can help to bridge the time until your next hand wash. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: What You Need To Know About Handwashing (May 2022).