Washing your Hands

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Hand washing is an easy and effective way to prevent Infection. Frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness. Hand washing requires only soap and water. So easy to do and very important!

As you touch people, surfaces and objects throughout the day, you accumulate germs on your hands. In turn, you can infect yourself with these germs by touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Although it’s impossible to keep your hands germ-free, washing your hands frequently can help limit the transfer of bacteria and viruses.

It is particularly important in your work, as babies are small and often vulnerable. When the children first arrive at the orphanage they can be in a bad condition often with skin infections, which can be contagious. Also remember that as children grow, they will develop many childhood illnesses. Although this is a perfectly normal part of growing up it can cause discomfort and distress. By washing your hands you can help prevent the spread of these illnesses and keeping both yourself and the children healthy.

Always wash your hands before:

entering the building and encourage visitors to do the same;
preparing formula;
sterilizing bottles and baby utensils/ pacifier;
handling small infants;
preparing food for children, yourself and others;
giving medicine;
handling a sick baby or child.

Always wash your hands after:

preparing food, especially raw meat or poultry;
using the toilet;
changing pampers;
touching an animal or animal toys, leashes or animal waste;
blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing into your hands;
treating wounds;
handling a sick or injured person;
handling rubbish or something that could be contaminated, such as a cleaning cloth or soiled shoes;
returning from the garden;
handling money.

Finally, it is also important to wash your hands whenever they look dirty!

How to wash your hands

It’s generally best to wash your hands with soap and water. Follow these simple steps:

roll up the sleeves of your top;
remove all jewellery (sharp jewellery should not be worn as it can scratch the children);
wet your hands with running water;
apply soap (liquid soap if possible);
lather well;
rub your hands vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails;
always point hands downwards and allow water to flow overhands in this direction too;
rinse well;
dry your hands with a clean or disposable towel;
if possible, use your towel to turn off the tap.

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