You’ve probably heard it from your mom many times: ‘Wash your hands!” And if you are a parent or a spouse, you likely say this a lot as well! Are you conscious of germs on your hands? The importance of hand washing has been taught to us since we were young.
Washing your hands should be something that comes naturally to you. Our hands receive tons of abuse from us each day—everything you do is with your hands! For instance, think of the number of times you touch your phone. And just for a fact, a phone screen contains a larger number of germs compared to a public toilet seat (yikes!).
As we go about our day, all of us unknowingly pick up germs that can make us sick—in some cases severely sick. Then without even noticing as we are so much used to it, we use those same seemingly clean hands to rub our eyes or wipe our face. What happens then? You have provided an easy way for germs sneak in and cause problems with our body.
Do you wash your hands frequently? Do you wash them after using the bathroom or touching raw meat? If your answer to both these questions is a “No” then read on. If you don’t wash your hands, here is what can happen.
You Will Get Sick Recurrently
Expect to get sick more often if you don’t wash your hands. The less you wash your hands, the greater the germs build upon them. Hence, you risk exposing yourself to more diseases and infections. One can argue that this will help build your immunity, but that is not always the case. Some nasty bug is bound to get in your body and wreak havoc sooner or later. Spending thirty seconds in washing your hands properly (note the importance of hand washing) might not seem an exciting prospect but the benefits of washing hands will definitely pay off.
You Could Inadvertently Spread Germs
If getting sick was not bad enough, you also risk spreading germs wherever you go. Once you get sick, it’s easy to spread that to people around you. When washing hands, you are not only doing yourself a favor but to others as well.
Note: when you feel the flu coming, and need to sneeze or cough, do not do it into your hand but into the side of your arm to prevent the germs from spreading through touch.
Which brings us to the next most important points which is—
You could seriously infect someone with a compromised immune system
Develop a habit of washing your hands, as it will not only help you but others as well. When you don’t wash your hands, you risk spreading the germs, which means people who have a compromised immune system are put at risk. Your actions could end up causing someone serious harm. Newborn babies and elderly can’t fight off diseases the same way most people can. If you don’t wash your hands, you might end up infecting someone who has a compromised immune system, and this could include infants.
You Could Inadvertently Give Yourself Food Poisoning
Love meat? Love not washing your hands after handling your favorite meat? Well, say hello to food poisoning! Most foodborne illnesses are spread by touching food that is contaminated and washing hands afterward. As a result, you may risk getting food posing that will have you bedridden (or, ahem, bathroom-ridden!).
Salmonella and E. coli are the most common forms bacteria that cause food poisoning, and the best way to prevent a severe case brought on by these pesky germs is to always wash your hands after handling raw food.
Could Hand Sanitizer Be an Alternative?
This is an oft-debated topic—whether using hand sanitizer is as good as washing hands. Here is the deal—a hand sanitizer is a good alternative in circumstances where you cannot wash your hands, but it is not a permanent solution, and you certainly should not forgo handwashing in lieu of hand sanitizing. Using a sanitizer doesn’t kill as much bacteria as washing hands with soap and water. It is good to carry a hand sanitizer on-the-go, but always a good practice to wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, touching raw meat, or before handling food.
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