Hand Washing Hacks

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 15/09/2023

We learned this in school but we learned it better after the pandemic: wash your hands and wash them frequently. Whether it was the importance of hygiene or the benefits of health insurance we need not wait for another breakdown of the healthcare sector to learn their value. Just as health insurance secures your finances in case a medical emergency arises, maintaining hand hygiene prevents several gastrointestinal diseases and respiratory infections, including the infamous novel coronavirus. And so, to prevent raising a claim against your medical insurance plan for a COVID-19-related emergency or getting infected with viral infections, it is important to be acquainted with the right handwashing technique.

Importance of Hand Washing

Government bodies across the globe have been striving to establish the importance of hand washing, particularly after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is because maintaining hand hygiene is considered crucial in lowering the transmission of infectious diseases.

Research reveals that washing hands can lower the rate of respiratory infections by 23% and reduce gastrointestinal infections by as much as 48%. Hand washing is considered particularly important to prevent and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus that brought the world to a standstill. Considering this, let’s understand and employ the right handwashing technique to keep germs and infections at bay.

Steps to Correctly Wash Your Hands

Knowing the hand hygiene steps brings you closer to protecting yourself against several illnesses. The following hand hygiene steps are prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):**

Step 1: Wet your hands with clean water (preferably running water)

Step 2: Ensure that the soap you use covers all the surfaces of your hands and wrists

Step 3: Lather and thoroughly rub your hands. Ensure that you clean your hands all over – the palms, the back of your palms, in between your fingers, and under your nails.

Step 4: The recommended medical hand washing time is at least 20 seconds, so scrub properly until then to protect yourself from preventable diseases

Step 5: Put your hands under clean running water and rinse them well till the wrist

Step 6: Dry your hands with a clean towel. You can even let them air-dry.

Step 7: Turn off the faucet using a towel

Essentially, the important thing to remember while washing your hands is to clean every surface thoroughly and scrub for the recommended medical hand washing time, which is 20 seconds. The WHO recommends some more detailed steps to thoroughly clean your hands after applying water and soap:**

Step-1: Rub your palms in a circular motion

Step-2: Clean the back of each of your hands with the palm of the other hand

Step-3: Interlace your fingers to clean between your fingers

Step-4: Clean the back of your fingers by rubbing your fingers into your palms by interlocking them

Step-5: Clean around each of your thumbs with your opposite hand

Step-6: Rub the tips of your fingers into the opposite palm

Step-7: Clean your wrists with opposite hands

For wholesome protection, follow the seven steps to protect your hands from germs and one step to protect your finances from the medical bills incurred for the treatment of illnesses: buy health insurance online.

Common Myths about Hand Hygiene

It is time to clean up some hand-washing misconceptions so you can be well-informed about your hand hygiene practices:

Myth 1: Soap type influences hand hygiene

Advertisements can be misleading. And perhaps the biggest myth propagated when it comes to hand hygiene is that the kind of soap you use influences how clean your hands will be. Many of us saw ads hinting that liquid soap will clean your hands better as compared to bar soap. In reality, however, regardless of whether you use a bar or liquid soap, if you use the right handwashing technique, your hands will be clean.

Myth 2: The temperature of the water affects hand hygiene

Another common belief about appropriate hand washing was that washing your hands with warm water will kill germs faster. This, again, is untrue. The temperature of the water does not affect how clean your hands are. And so you can use the temperature of the water that you are comfortable with to clean your hands. The important thing is that you ensure they are thoroughly clean.

Myth 3: Hand Sanitizers can Replace Hand Washing

The most effective way to remove the microbes and germs on your hands is by washing them thoroughly with soap. While in some scenarios, sanitisers can speedily reduce the number of microbes, they are not as effective as soap and water for gastrointestinal illness-causing germs such as norovirus, Cryptosporidium, etc. So, hand sanitisers are only for the times when soap and water are unavailable.

When to Wash Your Hands?

You can acquire and transmit germs in several scenarios, but it is particularly important to clean your hands:

  • before, during, and after preparing meals

  • before and after you:

  • eat or drink

  • come in contact with someone suffering from an infectious illness

  • enter a healthcare setting such as a hospital or a doctor’s clinic

  • clean and treat a burn, cut, or a wound

  • take medications

  • use publicly available services such as toilets or public transport

  • touch your phone or other devices

  • visit the grocery store

after you:

  • sneeze, cough, or blow your nose

  • touch dirty surfaces

  • handle receipts or money

  • touch surroundings that are commonly touched by a lot of people such as elevator buttons, door handles, etc.

  • shake hands with someone

  • engage in sexual activity

  • use the bathroom

  • change diapers or clean bodily waste off of others

  • handle garbage

  • engage with animals

It might be difficult to remember a list as long as this one and so it is good practice to wash your hands frequently to ensure they are free from harmful germs.

To Conclude

Maintaining hand hygiene is a simple way to keep several infections at bay. However, some health-related scenarios can be out of your hand, and for these, you can rely on your comprehensive health insurance.

With a medical insurance plan, you are secured against unforeseen medical emergencies that meddle with your health. And because illnesses and diseases can be sneaky and enter your body without warning, you should plan by investing in comprehensive health insurance. To enhance convenience for insurance seekers, insurance companies have made it easy to buy health insurance online.

The medical insurance plan by Tata AIG offers protection against a host of illnesses and comes with COVID-19 cover. It comes with unique features such as coverage for pre-existing illnesses, in-patient treatments, pre-and post-hospitalisation benefits, and more.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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