1to1 Therapy Services, child washing hands and showing soapy palms

The Importance of Hand Hygiene

The Infection Prevention and Control Canada organization has declared Oct 19-25 as Infection Control Week—a time when awareness is raised about the importance of infection prevention across the country. It happens the third week of October every year, which is timely leading up to cold and flu season.

Our team of therapists at 1to1 Therapy Services interact with many people in different ways, daily. This often involves entering their home, shaking hands, touching similar objects, as well as other aspects of contact required for the therapy. We are committed to the highest quality of care, and for this reason, we take infection prevention seriously—starting with hand hygiene. Each member of our team is required to receive a certificate of completion for the Canadian Public Safety Institute’s (CPSI) Hand Hygiene Challenge.

Proper handwashing seems simplistic, but did you know that only an estimated five percent of people wash their hands daily? Yet, handwashing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of germs from person to person.

Each day this week, our therapists have been actively completing learning modules about different topics related to infection control, and we thought you may also find the hand hygiene tips helpful.

When Should You Wash Your Hands?

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

How Should You Wash Your Hands?

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

If washing with warm water is not an option, hand sanitizer is a good substitute, but keep in mind that it doesn’t eliminate all germs and won’t remove dirt or residue.

We also like this graphic showing each of the steps to wash your hands properly. Feel free to use it at home or at the office.

How to Hand Rub_step by step

For more information about hand hygiene visit: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

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