Handwashing is just a simple act that you can do many times a day. But did you know that it is even more important than you think?
Here’s What Will Happen If You Don’t Wash Your Hands:
You Can Get Diarrhea
When people don’t wash their hands, diarrhea-related illnesses can strike them easily Tanya McIntosh, an infection-control practitioner at the University of Kansas Medical Center says:
“Handwashing after you go to the bathroom is another key time to perform hand hygiene. Bacteria and viruses from feces (poop) can cause various diarrhea-related illnesses, including salmonella, norovirus, and E. coli 0157.”
Simple handwashing can reduce the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 31 percent.
You Can Get A Serious Respiratory Illness
It is really true that if you don’t wash your hands, you are going to get sick. Aside from getting cold, your risk for respiratory illnesses is much more severe. You can develop flu, adenovirus, pneumonia, and even hand, foot, and mouth disease if you neglect hand washing. The number of colds and respiratory illnesses your contract can be cut by 16 to 21 percent if you follow good handwashing practices.
You Could Be Contributing To Antibiotic Resistance
In order for your not to catch an infection, it’s really necessary to always wash your hands. By doing this regularly, you can reduce the number of infections that spread – these infections are often treated with antibiotics.
Handwashing can prevent about one-fifth of respiratory infections and one-third of diarrhea-related illnesses. Moreover, it can also reduce by almost 60 percent the spread of diarrhea-related illnesses in people with weakened immune systems. Fewer infections mean less widespread antibiotic treatment, and the overuse of antibiotics is the leading cause of antibiotic resistance. Difficult-to-treat illnesses from germs that have already become resistant to antibiotics can also be prevented by washing your hands.
You Can Infect Other People
Throughout the day, your hands are touching pretty much everything around you. This means that when you touch a doorknob after touching your eyes, face, nose or mouth, you’re putting whoever touches it after you at risk of picking up your germs. Also, when you touch that doorknob, you’re picking up the germs of everyone who touched it before you.
You Could Be Putting People With Weak Immune Systems At Risk
According to anesthesiologist Christian Whitney, DO, a pain management consultant for Restorative Pain Solutions:
“The risk of not washing your hands is that you could get exposed to potentially harmful infections and also infect others, especially young infants, the elderly, and those that are immunocompromised and susceptible to infections.”
This means to say that, if you don’t wash your hands after touching potentially contaminated food or going to the bathroom, you can create huge complications for those around you who have weaker immune systems. Be vigilant about washing your hands to minimize the risk.
You Can Get (And Give) Food Poisoning
When you are cooking, frequent washing is essential in preventing cross-contamination, according to McIntosh.
She says that:
“Foods such as raw meat, vegetables with dirt on them, or eggs can harbor potentially harmful bacteria that can make you sick if not handled correctly.”