On a Tuesday morning in my clinic, I was following my ritual to wash my hands before treating the next patient. My next patient turned out to be a young mother accompanied by a very clever and smart young boy sitting next to her and watching all my actions with full curiosity. At one point, the boy suddenly jumped and asked, "Doctor why did you wash your hands?"

I explained to him the importance of hand hygiene in maintaining our overall hygiene.

He then asked, "So how do you ensure that your hands are clean after washing them?" With enthusiasm, I pointed towards my GLOGERM liquid and showed him my hands under blue light to check if any unclean areas were present. As nothing was visible, my smile increased with confidence.

I really realised the importance of this very basic thing for everyday's routine, which actually has never been taught religiously. Thanks to this little fella whom I explained each step of it, I found the need of writing another article on hand washing

Total time required to wash hands properly: 30 seconds

Step 1 - Wet your hands and apply enough soap (coin size).

Step 2 - Rub your palms together.

Step 3 - Rub the back of each hand

Step 4 - Rub both your hands while interlocking your fingers

Step 5 - Rub the back of your fingers.

Step 5 - Rub the tips of your fingers.

Step 6 - Rub your thumbs and the ends of your wrists.

Step 7 - Rinse both hands properly with water.

And finally dry with a clean towel/disposable tissue paper.

Some tips-

1. Hand Sanitisers are good tools to keep your hands clean but they should not replace soap and water. Sanitisers should be used only after hand washing. Excess use of sanitisers can cause dry and chapped hands due to their high alcohol content.

2. For younger kids, during hand wash sing a song that lasts 30 seconds to reinforce the habit of cleaning their hands properly.

Let them help you in buying soap or toiletries. Sprinkle some glitter on their hands and ask them to clean it , though it may take surprisingly long to wash.

Make a habit to wash your hands 

  • before and after eating
  • after playing outdoors
  • after using toilets
  • after sneezing or coughing
  • before and after being around with someone who is ill.

It may seem a small gesture but it has a big impact in ensuring you stay healthy.