Growing up, I’m sure all our parents have set some all-too-familiar ground rules for us-no elbows on the table, take small bites of your food, chew with your mouth closed and wash your hands before you eat! These are some of the common rules of etiquette. But as far as hand washing is concerned, there is more to it than just being good etiquette. It is, in fact, a surprisingly important necessity for your health!
You may not realize it, but you accumulate thousands of germs on your hands throughout the day when you touch people, objects and different surfaces. So yes, with every handshake, high-five, and fist-bump, you are at risk of contracting a host of potentially harmful germs. And if you go on to heedlessly touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your dirty hands, you could quickly infect yourself with these germs.
Every day we expose our hands to thousands or perhaps even millions of infectious germs. These germs can get on our hands when we cough, sneeze, use the toilet, change a diaper, or even touch a contaminated surface. If we don’t wash off these germs that have accumulated on our hands, they can enter our body to cause disease. And very often, it is much more than just a mild cold!
Take, for example, the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP), which highlights that pneumonia and diarrhoea are two major illnesses that are transmitted through unclean hands. Together, these diseases are said to cause more than 20% of deaths in children under the age group of five. The biggest source of this diarrhoea and pneumonia-causing germs are human and animal faeces. They are transmitted to a person when they come in contact with faecal matter while using the toilet, cleaning a soiled diaper or even through less obvious ways such as handling raw meat which may contain traces of animal faeces.
But washing your hands is one of the strongest defences you have against these infections, and it can prevent the likelihood of you falling sick. Nearly 80% of illness-causing germs are spread through unclean hands. With proper hand hygiene, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that nearly 30% of diarrhoea-related sicknesses and 20% of respiratory infections such as cold, adenovirus, and hand-foot-mouth disease can be prevented.
Cleaning your hands before preparing or eating food, after using the toilet, handling the garbage, touching an animal, blowing your nose, or caring for a sick person is a simple and effective way to prevent infection. Choose an organic hand wash over antibacterial soaps. During pregnancy especially, it is important that you steer clear of soaps which contain harsh chemicals and other synthetic ingredients. Use a pregnancy-safe hand wash- what you put on your hands can affect you and your baby.
BabyChakra’s all-natural and toxin-free hand wash works well to keep skin healthy and clean for long periods. The non-drying hand wash is India's first and only baby-safe hand wash. This hand cleanser contains 100% vegetarian ingredients and safe for pregnant mothers as well!
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