5 Important tips to protect children from viruses

Parents and child wash hands

The Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) warns: When it comes to transmitting viruses, your hands play an important role. Not only when you shake hands, but also when you touch surfaces and shared items, your hands can come into contact with germs and viruses. If you then touch your face with your hands, the pathogens enter your body through the mucous membranes of your mouth, nose or eyes and cause an infection there.

A simple but effective way to prevent infectious diseases is therefore thorough hand washing. What you need to consider when washing your hands, how long you should wash your hands and whether antibacterial cleansers or disinfectants are better than normal hand soap, you can read in our guide.

1. When should you wash your hands?

Don’t wait to wash your hands until they’re visibly dirty, because you can’t see pathogens with the naked eye.

Thorough hand washing is especially important when you:

If you have been to the toilet, you have helped your children to go to the toilet, or you have been to the bathroom. Changed diapers

come home, z. B. from work, school or a trip

Are sick: after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose

You have had contact with waste, animals, pet food or animal waste such as the cat’s litter box.

Remember also, you always before:

eating as well as

B The contact with medicines or cosmetics

Do you use washing powder, detergent capsules or liquid detergent to wash your clothes??

washing your hands.

Washing your hands before and after eating:

when cooking and preparing food, especially if you handle raw meat as well as

When caring for sick people or wounds.

2. How to wash your hands properly: a guide

Follow these simple 4 steps to wash your hands properly:

Hold your hands under running water that has a temperature that is comfortable for you.

Soap your hands thoroughly: This includes the palms, backs of the hands, fingers to the fingertips, finger interdigital spaces and fingernails – don’t forget the thumbs, too.

Rinse hands thoroughly under running water.

Dry your hands carefully at the end. At home, you can use a regular towel for this purpose, which is washed regularly. In public toilets, disposable towels are the most hygienic solution.

3. How warm should the water be for washing hands?

It doesn’t matter how warm the water is for washing your hands to get them thoroughly clean. The temperature should be comfortable for you, but not too hot, because then you are severely attacking the top layer of skin on your hands and it may even become more susceptible to germs.

4. How long to wash your hands?

Thorough hand washing should last at least 20 seconds. Little trick: Sing "Happy Birthday" twice while doing this, then it fits.

5. Why proper drying is important when washing hands?

Drying with a towel also removes germs through friction. In addition, microorganisms such as viruses settle more quickly in a moist environment and multiply more easily there. If you wash your hands in a public restroom, disposable paper towels are the most hygienic solution, but hot air dryers are also suitable for drying. Small tip: In public sanitary facilities, close the water tap with a paper towel or your elbow to avoid renewed contact with pathogens.

6. Is antibacterial soap better than regular soap?

According to studies, antibacterial soaps provide no additional benefit over regular soaps for the general population when it comes to eliminating germs. It’s more important to wash hands properly and use enough soap.

7. Wash or disinfect hands?

the use of disinfectants is not necessary in normal environments. However, if there is an increased risk of infection, z. B. If you have family members infected with highly contagious viruses, it may make sense to disinfect your hands after washing them.

If you are caring for relatives who have a weakened immune system and are particularly susceptible to infection, then using a disinfectant on your hands is also a good idea. Hands should also be disinfected before and after visiting a hospital.

Originally published 15. May 2020

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