Why do I need to wash my hands

Every one of us has heard the instruction to wash our hands before we eat or touch anything clean as a child. Parents practice special care to make sure that their kids have washed their hands as soon as they get in from outside or just before eating or may be if the child have touched anything dirty with his/her hands. Although the instruction is most commonly heard when we are kids, the reasons as to why we wash our hands does not go away with our childhood even though the strict parental attention might not be there anymore.

The most obvious answer to this question is of course “germs”. Many of the germs that affect the human health adversely spread through touch and through our hands, especially when we eat using our hands. In order to stop the germs from getting inside our body through food or skin, it is important to wash your hands before a meal or when your hands get dirty while working, playing or due to any other activity. One should note that washing the hands with only water is not the right way to clean your hands properly because water alone is incapable of removing all the germs from the hands. Using a good anti-bacterial soap is the ideal way to clean your hands since the lather attaches the dirt and germs with itself, while the antibacterial properties of the soap kills most germs that might cause infections.

Common activities like going to the washroom, petting an animal, sneezing or coughing into your hands, etc are all activities that may involve germs and should be followed by a thorough hand wash with soap. Although one should definitely wash their hands just before eating, it should not be the only time. Germs spread through direct, indirect, personal and external touches; therefore, it is recommended that everyone washes his/her hands periodically as well as after being associated with activities that may involve germs. By following this simple yet universally acknowledged way, we can help keep both ourselves and others healthier.