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It can be infuriating to discover that a family member doesn’t wash hands after visiting the toilet. Unfortunately, it happens with many families across the world. Research suggests that a significant percentage of children don’t wash their hands, and they happen to be our beloved family members.
If you notice that any of your family members doesn’t wash hands, it’s something to worry about. Thankfully, all you need to do is to encourage them to wash their hands every time they visit the toilet or engage in other outdoor activities that could expose them to harmful germs and pathogens.
So, without far much ado, let’s jump straight to…
What reason do people give for not washing their hands?
We know it’s a good idea to wash your hands often, but we can’t help but laugh at some of the creative excuses kids make to avoid doing it. Below are some excuses kids, or even some adults, give for not washing hands:
Before Sitting at the Dinner Table
- We aren’t having any finger food today.
- My hands smell clean. My food smells good. Smell them.
- I haven’t touched germs with my hands today.
- I washed my hands this morning. They smell good.
- Because it takes too long, my food will get cold.
After Visiting the Bathroom
- I don’t even have time to wash my hands!
- I tried to find some soap, but I could not find any.
- Because I only peed! It isn’t necessary to wash my hands.
- I was actually washing my hands! I was not just running the water.
- Everyone at Ben’s house doesn’t wash their hands. Why should I wash my hands?
After Playing Outdoors
- When I wash my hands, they look funny.
- Because I’m tired from playing games, I can’t wash my hands properly.
- There is no dirt on my hands. Look!
- I wasn’t playing a game; I was just watching others.
- We had rain today. Everything is very clean.
Even though kids often think of creative ways not to wash their hands, the reality is that kids must still wash their hands. Children will need warm water and some soap to help them lather up. They need to work the soap between their fingers and over the top of their hands. To avoid having to handwash twice, encourage children to keep making lathers while they are singing the Happy Birthday song. When they reach the end of the Happy Birthday song, they can rinse them off and dry.
How to Wash Hands Properly
- Put your hands under a clean source (tap) of running water.
- Apply soap to the hands and allow them to lather for 20 seconds (or more if dirt has gotten underneath).
- Rub together quickly between your hands and across all the surfaces of your wrists and hands.
- Spread the soap film on all parts of your hands beneath your nails, between your fingers, and wrists.
- It will be a good thing to remove your watch or ring from your hands before you wash them to prevent any existing bacteria under them from not being washed out.
- After rubbing your hands well, rinse them under clean running tap water. Ensure no soap traces are left on your hands.
- Put your hands under an air drier to dry. You can also use a clean towel.
- Dry any rings or watch before wearing them back. You can use hot air driers to dry your ring or watch. If you’re using a towel, ensure that every family member in your home has their own towels.
Use Tap Water
Use tap water rather than water that is stagnant in a basin. Basin water could get easily contaminated. Washing your hands with warm water may be better than cold water because soap lathers better in warm water.
However, you can still use cold water and soap as research shows that hot water could destroy natural oils in your skin and cause dermatitis.
Soap is Essential for Hand Washing
If you wash your hands with water and soap, you will remove a lot more harmful organisms than washing with just water. But remember that different soaps may have different pH levels, which may be slightly acidic, alkaline, or neutral.
Some people may find that perfumes in soaps irritate their skin. If that’s the case, changing the soap you use may help. Liquid soap is best. You’ll want to wash your hands with liquid soap at the workplace rather than bar soap. However, if there is no liquid soap, don’t restrain from using bar soap.
Washing Your Hands with Soap & Water Vs. Using a Sanitizer
Alcohol-based sanitizers can help control some viruses, such as the coronavirus. However, they cannot protect you from gastroenteritis. Using soap and water to wash your hands is the ideal way to prevent gut infection. If alcohol-based hand sanitizer is unavailable, use a hand sanitizer containing at most 60% alcohol.
When to Wash Your Hands
To stop spreading germs to other family members at home, make it a routine for everyone to wash their hands regularly under the following circumstances:
- Before cooking and eating.
- After cleaning your house.
- After coming from the outdoors (gardening, playing, taking a stroll with your dog)
- After coming in physical contact with your pet or animals at home.
- After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- After or before taking care of or visiting sick relatives or friends.
- After using the bathroom.
Health Advantages for Washing Hands
Any family member who doesn’t wash hands should be aware that practicing regular hand washing acts as the first line of defense to protect you from contracting any type of disease, including common cold, diarrhea, and hepatitis A.
Train Your Kids on Hand Hygiene
You should train your kids to stay healthy by teaching them how to wash their hands well. Otherwise, they can easily spread germs to other friends and family members at home.
What do you do when someone doesn’t wash their hands?
Put several hand sanitizers around the room, and hope people wash their hands before touching anything. So, if you suspect that a family member doesn’t wash their hands, you can take the initiative and spray hand sanitizer on their hands before they touch food or greet other people.
What are the risks if a family member doesn’t wash hands?
If a family member doesn’t wash hands, they could pass germs to friends and family and get them sick. The same applies if they touch objects around the house – such as a handrail or a doorknob. This may spread illnesses to friends and other family members at home. Always ensure everyone washes their hands properly.
Should men wash their hands after they pee?
It is wise to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after you’ve urinated. Plain tap water and alcohol hand sanitizers are not enough for you to completely kill germs.
If a family member doesn’t wash hands, you should encourage them to wash their hands to protect you and other people at home from infectious diseases. Follow the correct steps to wash your hands correctly. When you want to wash your hands, liquid soap or detergent is better than bar soap, particularly if you are at work or other public spaces. Also, you should train your children on how to wash their hands properly.