Why Hand Sanitizers?
When used correctly, liquid hand soaps
can be effective in reducing bacteria on hands, but they need water and the process takes longer – at least 20 seconds to achieve good results. Hand sanitizers can be used anywhere, even far from a sink, and are quick and efficient. Some types of hand cleansers use isopropyl alcohol, which can kill bacteria and viruses almost instantly. While alcohol can cause skin to become dry because it removes natural oils (just as washing with soap in warm water does), many brands of alcohol-based cleansers also include emollients to restore the skin's moisture. Other types of hand sanitizers use FDA-approved anti-bacterial agents such as povidemeriodine or benzalkonium chloride, which are just as effective in killing harmful germs. Whether they come in liquid, foam or gel form or whether they come in wipes, hand sanitizers are convenient, fast and get the job done.
When and How to Wash
Transferring germs and contaminants is always just a touch away. Cross-contamination between objects and people is easy, but there are some times when people need to be especially careful and use hand sanitizers. Use them before and after handling food, particularly raw chicken and other raw meats. If you need to change a bandage or even help a knee-scrape feel better, also use hand sanitizers before (to prevent transferring pathogens). It should also be employed after caring for the sick, using the toilet, changing a diaper, touching a pet or a pet's toys, bedding or litter box and if you sneeze, cough or blow your nose. Using a hand sanitizer is easy: just apply the proper amount to one palm and rub your hands together. Be sure to pay close attention to often-neglected areas such as around the fingernails, between the fingers, the back of the thumb and around the wrist. Once the hands are dry, you're done!
Should Children Use Hand Sanitizer?
Kids get into anything and everything, so the possibility of their picking up bacteria, viruses and contaminants from some very interesting places is very high. Younger children, in particular, are also more likely to place their hands in or near their mouths, increasing the likelihood of infection. Teaching children personal care
, including good hand cleaning, helps them learn good habits early in life. Unlike learning how to use soaps and bodywash
, though, hand sanitizers require adult supervision. Show them how to wash hands properly with a hand sanitizer and watch them while they do it themselves. Once done, though, place the bottle or wipes out of reach. back to top »