Hospitals are comforting to a parent because they are filled with medical personnel who know what they are doing. But hospitals are also filled with potentially life-threatening diseases and infections, some of which could be avoidable with a few simple steps. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a statistic in 2014 that said 1 in 25 patients end up with an infection they acquired at a hospital — resulting in 75,000 people dying in 2011 alone.
Infections can occur from rooms that haven’t been properly cleaned, or improper use of antibiotics, but patients are also to blame due to lack of proper hand washing. Also, keep in mind: it isn’t just those staying in the hospital that need to wash their hands, but also visiting doctors and friends. While hospitals typically provide antibacterial dispensers at the door of most rooms, it is best to wash with plain soap and water. And simply placing your hands under running water for a couple of seconds is not going to get the job done. Here are five steps to ensure proper hand washing whether at the hospital or not.
1. Use Plain Soap
Try California Baby’s Super Sensitive (No Fragrance) Moisturizing Handwash and work into a lather under warm water for at least 20 seconds.
2. Refrain From Using Antibacterial Soap
Research has shown that it is less effective than regular soap and does more harm than good in the long run.
3. Wash Well
Make sure to scrub in between your fingers as well as under your nails.
4. Rinse Thoroughly
Remove the soap by rinsing thoroughly under running water.
5. Opt For A Paper Towel
Use a paper towel or toilet paper to turn off running water and open door handles, as those are places where germs harbor.