Not washing hands after going to the bathroom can spearhead the spread of various illnesses like shigellosis, hepatitis A, salmonellosis, etc. Washing the hands gets rid of germs present on the hands and prevents a person from contracting unnecessary illness.
Since childhood, we’ve all heard about the importance of washing hands after using the bathroom. However, as the years passed by and we entered adulthood, we seem to have forgotten its importance. Several people don’t bother to wash their hands after a visit to the bathroom, which definitely is a habit that needs correction.
In a ‘Hand Washing Survey’ carried out by the American Society for Microbiology and the Soap and Detergent Association, it was found that only 66% men and 88% women actually wash their hands after using a public restroom. If we were all taught in school how deleterious not washing the hands can be, then how come several adults forget to do so? If we’ve forgotten then it’s high time we refresh our memories. Let’s find out why exactly we need to perform this hand cleansing ritual every single time we visit the restroom.
Importance of Washing Hands After a Bathroom Break
People who don’t wash their hands after using the restroom are more susceptible to colds and other infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skipping hand washing after visiting the bathroom can lead to picking up of germs which can conduce to different infectious diseases. The person is at risk of contracting an illness every time he or she touches his nose, mouth, eyes, etc.
Why Wash Our Hands After Using Restroom?
Urine is originally sterile, however, when it comes in contact with the atmospheric air, bacteria convert chemicals in the urine to chemicals like ammonia, etc. When your hand comes in contact with any urine drops or fecal matter, bacteria and other germs present in them get attached to our hands. Eating with these unwashed hands causes these germs to enter the human body and cause different illnesses.
Diarrheal illnesses such as shigellosis, hepatitis A, salmonellosis, etc. are usually passed from a person who hasn’t washed hands after using the restroom and who in turn passes it to others while shaking hands, handling food items, touching, etc. By washing one’s hands properly with soap, the germs from the bathroom get rinsed off, thereby protecting yourself and the others you are coming in contact with.
How Can Not Washing My Hands Affect Others?
Unwashed hands and poor hygiene often result in food borne illness outbreaks. This is because of negligence on the part of employees working in the food industry. People directly or indirectly dealing with food or food packaging need to doubly make sure they wash their hands properly after using the restroom. Improperly washed or unwashed hands transfer germs from the restroom to the food items and then to the person eating the food.
Employees of supermarkets keep handling fruits and vegetables and it can be a major source of germs if they maintain poor hygiene. Managers of supermarkets need to ensure their staff maintain proper hygiene. Moreover, people working in the hotel industry like chefs, waiters, waitresses, etc. can also be links of food borne illnesses. People in the health care sector also need to make sure they wash their hands after using the bathroom, unless they want to act as infection initiators.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), proper hand washing is the most important way to prevent spread of infections. If you are working with any such kind of industry you need to understand one simple fact, by not washing hands after using bathroom, you are forming a channel to spread infection to other people. Washing the hands is solely up to every individual. One should take personal responsibility to wash one’s hands after using the restroom. Protect yourself and protect others!