Most important hygienic rules: Hand washing protects against serious diseases

Simple infection control: Why washing hands is so important
On the occasion of the World Day of hand washing, experts refer every year to the health significance of this hygiene measure. By regular hand washing you can protect yourself from infectious diseases. But it must be thoroughly enough.

Regular Hand Washing Protects Against Disease
Many children are taught at a young age the saying: "After the loo and before eating - do not forget to wash your hands".Unfortunately, sometimes it hapes with the execution, even with adults. And that although hand washing is the most important hygiene rule ever. It can significantly reduce the risk of diseases such as diarrhea or flu. For the World Day of Hand Washing on October 15, experts explain what is important when washing hands.

Regular hand washing is an important contribution to effective protection against infectious diseases. But it has to be done thoroughly enough.(Picture: Picture-Factory / fotolia.com) Regular hand washing is an important contribution to effective protection against infectious diseases. But it has to be done thoroughly enough.(Picture: Picture-Factory / fotolia.com)

Hygiene often falls short
According to World Health Organization( WHO) estimates, up to 80 percent of all infectious diseases are transmitted by hand. According to medical experts, the risk of developing gastrointestinal infections, diarrhea, flu or cold can be significantly reduced by proper hand washing. Nevertheless, the hygiene often comes too short, especially in men, as a survey of the Federal Center for Health Education( BZgA) showed.

According to the experts, this is also confirmed by observational studies by the London School of Hygiene &Tropical Medicine "with about 250,000 visitors occupied by restroom toilets. It turned out that not even one in three men uses soap and water, but 64% of women already.

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Washing Long enough
To protect against infectious diseases, hand washing must be done properly and long enough, According to experts, 20 to 30 seconds would be necessary for the germs to disappear reliably. However, very few people stick to it.

In order to keep up with the times, one could follow the advice once given by the Unicef ​​children's charity: sing "Happy Birthday" twice in a row while washing one's hands. This is the optimal time to remove the most dangerous bacteria and viruses.

With or without soap? While it's not true that washing hands without soap is pointless, health experts say it's much more effective when soap is used, as it removes dirt and microbes from the skin better than water alone. The water temperature is not so important. However, grease and dirt dissolve in warm water a little easier.

Drying is also important
Besides washing, drying is also important because moist hands can harbor significantly more bacteria than dry ones. Manufacturers of paper towels and hot air dryers have been fiercely fighting for years to get their hands dry.

Studies are being commissioned by both sides to prove that their products are better suited. The results therefore fluctuate mostly - depending on the client. What most experts agree on: used towels should be washed regularly at least 60 degrees.

Day of Action Indicates Health Relevance
The International Hand Washing Day, launched by WHO, was first launched in 2008.Also on the occasion of other days of action such as the World Water Day or the World Hygiene Day is repeatedly pointed to the health significance of the Hygiene Rule number one. Among other things, from the children's charity Unicef ​​that especially children in developing countries want to achieve.(ad)

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