When should you wash your hands?
Today, let’s have a chat about WHEN to wash your hands. I’ve seen many posts saying things to the equivalent of “you were supposed to be washing your hands this whole time!”
That’s fair. And it’s also true that there are many people who may have never been taught WHEN it is appropriate to wash hands. It’s not fair to shame them. Better to educate them.
Here’s a review:
1) Before touching ANY genitalia. Yours, your sexual partner’s, your child’s before a nappy/diaper change, any adult where you are helping them toilet. If you’ve got the required permissions to touch that genital area WASH YOUR HANDS first. This can help prevent UTIs, fungal infections, bacterial infections, and viral infections in that area. Ever had a UTI? They suck.
2) After touching any genitalia or changing a diaper.
3) Before you toilet. See above. Keeping that area free of germs is a good idea. Especially for those with female presenting genitalia.
4) After you toilet. This is the one most people know.
5) Before you open or prepare any food. That stuff is going to go in your mouth. Keep the germs off it.
6) After you handle any raw meat, poultry, fish or eggs. Especially before you move on to touch other foods. One could make the argument for washing after touching cheese, as well.
7) Before you eat.
8) After you eat.
9) Before you touch your face. Need to scratch an itch? Pick your nose? pick something out of your teeth? Rub your eye? WASH YOUR HANDS.
10) After you touch your face, pick your teeth, etc. You’re not only trying to keep germs out, you’re trying not to spread yours to others.
11) After doing any gardening, automotive work, construction work, anything similar.
12) When you enter your house after being out in public. Been at school, just come home? WASH YOUR HANDS. Been to the grocery store? WASH YOUR HANDS. Been to the gym? WASH YOUR HANDS. Been anywhere outside your house and just come inside? WASH YOUR HANDS before you do anything or touch anything else.
13) After you sneeze or cough, even if you caught it in a tissue or used your sleeve. Viruses are small and numerous and can get around those defences.
14) Before and after holding/touching a baby, and before / after entering a hospital, nursing home, or long term care facility.
Questions? Thoughts? Additions?