What the World Health Organisation says
"Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why? Because washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands."
Maintain your distance
"Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing."
"When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease."
When should you wash your hands?
You don’t need to become a clean freak but you do need to be mindful of when you’re at risk. Wash when:
- Your hands are visibly soiled
- After using the toilet or changing diapers
- After blowing your nose or sneezing into your hand
- Before preparing and eating food
- After touching raw poultry, meat or fish
- After handling garbage and cleaning cloths
- Caring for or visiting a sick person
- Before taking medication
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- Before inserting or removing contact lenses
- After handling pets or animal waste
- After returning home from the supermarket or shopping
How to effectively wash your hands
Waving of your hands under running water even with a lick of soap won’t remove the germs. Check your technique, and your children’s and get into a healthy habit.
- Remove all rings
- Wet hands with warm or cold water
- Apply soap and lather well
- Massage lather over palms, backs of hands, wrists, around nails and between fingers for at least 20 seconds or as long as it takes to hum Happy Birthday to your self twice
- Rinse thoroughly under running water
- Turn off tap with a paper towel
- Dry hands with a single-use towel or air dryer
- Exit public toilets using a paper towel if necessary
Warm or cold water?
Research has shown cold water is as effective as warm water for washing hands. For hot water to be more effective it would need to be at temperatures too high for skin comfort. So save time, water and higher power bills by not waiting for the warm water to flow.