Good personal hygiene is the first step to good health. It is the most effective way we have to protect ourselves and those around us from illness.
Establishing a good personal hygiene routine not only helps reduce your risk of contracting and spreading ailments but also improves your self-esteem.
Good personal hygiene routines
1. Hand washing
The importance of hand washing in preventing the spread of germs cannot be overemphasized.
Properly washing your hands with soap and water can help prevent diarrhoea, salmonella, Hepatitis A, influenza and common eye infections
You should wash your hands;
- After using the toilet or changing a baby’s diaper
- Before preparing or eating food
- When they are dirty
- After a prolonged use of objects known to harbour bacteria e.g. mobile phones, railings, door knobs etc.
- If you sneeze or cough into your hands
Taking a daily bath is a means of achieving cleanliness by washing away dead skin cells, dirt and odour, and a preventative measure to reduce the incidence and spread of disease.
Bacteria thrives in moist areas like inside the nose, armpits, inner elbows, webbed area between the fingers and toes, groin area, underneath the breasts etc. Bathing creates a feeling of well-being and the physical appearance of cleanliness.
3. Oral hygiene
Clean your teeth at least once a day and especially after each meal to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Poor oral hygiene can lead to cavities, tooth loss, and infected or inflamed gums.
This is because germs in your mouth grow on your teeth and around the gums every day.
4. Use a handkerchief
Use a clean handkerchief when coughing or sneezing to cover your nose and mouth.
If this is not done, droplets of liquid containing germs from the nose and mouth will be spread in the air and other people can breathe them in, or the droplets can get onto food.
5. Wear clean clothes
Make sure you change into clean clothes daily or after taking a bath.
Wash your dirty clothes with laundry soap and clean water and hang them in the sun to dry before wearing them again. The sun’s rays will kill some disease-causing germs and parasites.
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