Healthy Living (Wellness & Prevention)

Importance of Hand Washing

Written by
Dr. Krystel Quadros
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan

Published on Aug 16, 2019   -  2 min read



Everyone might feel that hand washing is such an easy and general topic to discuss, but sadly, many individuals do not know the importance of hand washing. If not done well, it can lead to various diseases of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract.

Importance of Hand Washing

What Is the Importance of Washing Your Hands?

The good habit of washing your hands should be taught right from childhood itself. According to several research and studies, hand washing has seen to reduce the occurrence of diarrhea and pneumonia in children. Many individuals wash their hands with plain water and not with soap, which is still unsafe when it comes to the health of an individual. Washing the hands with soap kills harmful organisms like salmonella and e.coli, which can cause diarrhea and discomfort. Do not just wash your hands quickly and get out of the washroom. It has to be done for at least twenty seconds to one minute.

What Are the Hand Washing Steps?

Following are the eight right steps that must be followed while washing one's hands with soap:

Step 1 - Rub your palms well with soap.

Step 2 - Rub and scrub well between your fingers with soap.

Step 3 - Rub the back of your hands with soap.

Step 4 - Rub the fingers backward nicely with soap.

Step 5 - Rub your thumb well with soap.

Step 6 - Clean your nails thoroughly with soap rubbing them to your palms.

Step 7 - Rub and clean your wrist nicely both frontwards as well as backward with soap.

Step 8 - Wash your hands nicely with water in similar steps as mentioned above and wipe it with a clean and dry towel.

When to Wash Your Hands?

  • Hand washing for children should be encouraged before and after playing.
  • After defecation washing hands with soap is a must to prevent the transfer of harmful organisms through the fecal-oral route.
  • Just before and after eating food, do not forget to wash your hands.
  • Before and after cooking food too, hands must be washed thoroughly with soap.

Kid's can be taught about the importance of hand washing through audio-visuals, which teaches them about the benefits. Remember that children are silent observers of their parents. They treat them as a role model. Hence, do not forget to practice proper hand washing yourself first. "Practice what you preach."

At some places, you might find that it is tough to wash hands with soap. For example, if you have come for an excursion through college to a village where there is a lack of water. At such times keeping a hand sanitizer is beneficial.

I hope that I have highlighted the importance of washing hands with soap, and that you would definitely make it a habit.


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Last reviewed at:
16 Aug 2019  -  2 min read


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