While clean hands help in the reduction and prevention of spread of infections, and has often been advocated for, the advent of coronavirus disease(COVID-19) pandemic has in recent time encouraged the reiteration of the need for hand washing or alternatively the use of alcohol based hand sanitizer(handrub)
Alcohol-based handrubs is an essential process for hand hygiene in health care. It is an effective means of rapidly inactivating a wide array of potentially harmful microorganisms on hands.
It is suitable for use even in resource-limited or remote areas with lack of accessibility to sinks or other facilities for hand hygiene (including clean water, towels, etc.) and these makes it suitable for use in this era of covid-19 pandemic. However, because it is readily available, there is a high tendency to misuse it with possible consequences that may arise.
In other to keep safe or use handrub safely, the following information is important (as outlined by WHO)
- Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers out of children’s reach. Teach them how to apply the sanitizer and monitor its use.
- Apply a coin-sized amount on your hands. There is no need to use a large amount of the product.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose immediately after using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, as it can cause irritation.
- Hand sanitizers recommended to protect against COVID-19 are alcohol-based and therefore can be flammable. Do not use before handling fire or cooking.
- Under no circumstance should you drink or let children swallow an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It can be poisonous.
- Remember that washing your hands with soap and water is also effective against COVID-19.