Most people wash their hands wrong

Most people wash their hands wrong

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Effective protection against diseases: Thorough hand hygiene

Health experts say that up to 80 percent of all infectious diseases are transmitted through the hands. Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly is an effective protection against infectious diseases.

Most of the infectious diseases are transmitted through the hands

Only a few weeks ago it was reported that in Germany and Austria about one in three people do not wash their hands properly after using the toilet. And this despite the fact that according to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) up to 80 percent of all infectious diseases are transmitted via the hands. According to health experts, the risk of developing gastrointestinal infections, diarrhea, flu or the common cold can be significantly reduced by washing your hands properly.

Simple and effective protection

"Hand hygiene is an effective method to protect yourself and others from infectious diseases," wrote the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) on the occasion of the World Hand Hygiene Day on May 5, 2019 in a message.

"Our hands constantly come into contact with surfaces on which pathogens can be found," said Dr. med. Heidrun Thaiss, head of the BZgA.

"If we touch the mouth, nose or eyes, the pathogens can easily enter the body through the mucous membranes and trigger infectious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract or other internal organs," explains the expert.

"Regular and thorough hand washing offers simple and effective protection."

This applies even more to children than to adults: "Due to the immature immune system and their daily proximity to other children, the risk of infection is higher here," explains Prof. Philippe Stock, chief physician at the Altona Children's Hospital in Hamburg in a message from the news agency dpa.

Simple basic rules for effective hand hygiene

The BZgA refers to some simple basic rules for effective hand hygiene.

The hands are initially held under running water, and the temperature can be selected to be comfortable.

Then the palms of the hands, back of hands, thumbs, spaces between fingers and fingertips are thoroughly soaped.

Washing your hands thoroughly takes at least 20 seconds. In order to get a feeling for this period of time, the children's aid organization Unicef ​​recommends singing the song "Happy Birthday" twice.

This is the optimal time to remove most dangerous bacteria and viruses. Dirty hands should be cleaned longer.

Afterwards, the hands should be rinsed under running water and then carefully dried.

Drying removes germs that still adhere to the hands or in the remaining water on the hands. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: How Germs Spread. Explaining the Science for Kids (August 2022).