Chancellor's Check-Up: Clean Hands - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/16/04

Chancellor's Check-Up: Clean Hands

There are many times during our busy days that we neglect the small tasks in life, but as Dr. David Smith, Chancellor of the Texas Tech University system, explains, that the chore of washing your hands should become a habit.

Washing your hands can prevent you from catching or transmitting a disease. Toni Galvan, a nursing professor at the Texas Tech Medical Center, tells us why it is important to have clean hands.

"Handwashing is the single most important thing that anyone can do to prevent disease. Both prevent catching things and also prevent transmission of disease," says Toni J. Galvan, R.N. TTMC.

Bacteria and viruses can be spread easily. Diseases like Hepatitis A, Shigella, and Meningitis can be prevented by washing your hands.

"Antibacterial soap, in a routine household situation, is not called for and in fact may be somewhat dangerous. Because there's some new information, new research that indicates that too much use of antibiotics and antibacterial things causes overgrowth of bacteria and other organisms that are not susceptible to antibiotics," says Galvan.

Just rinsing does not properly clense your hands. Bacteria are still present. So, your hands may not be as clean as you think.

To be as effective as you can in washing your hands, it's not just the soap you use and the amount of lather you generate, it's the fact that you need to rub your hands together for at least 10 seconds.

Using expensive antibacterial soap isn't necessary, regular soap will suffice. Also, hand cleaning products or gels currently on the market that clean your hands without soap and water do just as good of a job as conventional hand washing. But if you have soap and water available, this is always best.

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