There are so many questions relating to hand sanitizer and how to properly use it to make it effective. The education of proper hand hygiene is an important component of slowing and stopping the spread of viruses. Here are a few answers to the most commonly asked questions about hand sanitizers:
Is hand sanitizer effective?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs. But, if you do not have access to a sink, a hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol is a good alternative and will help reduce the spread of germs.
Is hand sanitizer safe for children?
Yes, hand sanitizer is safe for children and should be used. It is recommended for children under the age of 6 to be supervised using hand sanitizer to avoid getting it in their eyes and mouth. Children should be properly educated on the proper use of sanitizer to avoid those situations.
How do I properly apply sanitizer?
Always apply hand sanitizer according to the directions on the packaging. Steps may include;
- Pour, spray or squeeze a generous amount of sanitizer into your hands
- Rub your hands together, evenly distributing sanitizer all over the hands and fingers
- Continue rubbing your hands and fingers until they are completely dry (approx 20 seconds)
Can I share it with others?
Of course it is better if everyone has their own hand sanitizer, but yes, it is ok to share. Make sure that when sharing, the bottle does not come in direct contact with the hands, and make sure that you sanitize the bottle afterwards.
When and how often should I apply?
Again, if available, it is more effective to wash your hands. But if a sink is unavailable, these are a few examples of the best time to use hand sanitizer:
- Before and after eating
- After using the washroom
- After blowing your nose
- Before and after preparing food
- Before and after being around someone who is sick
- After smoking
- After touching items that have been touched by others (doorknobs, elevator buttons)
Can I leave hand sanitizer in my car?
Hand sanitizer should not be stored at temperatures above 40° Celcius/105° Fahrenheit. This means that your vehicle is probably not the best place to keep hand sanitizer during the hot summer months.