What Hand Sanitizers Protect Against COVID-19?

April 29, 2021
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we’ve all been bombarded with 24/7 news cycles. Every day, there are updates on infection rates, CDC guidelines, and what you can do in your everyday life to keep yourself and your loved ones protected. While everyone’s aware of the need for masks and social distancing, there’s also the issue of hand sanitizers. They are everywhere — at grocery stores, gyms, and gas stations. And of course, you also want to keep them in your home and easily accessible when you go out. But how do you know which ones protect you best?

What You Need to Know About Using Hand Sanitizers Effectively

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds every time you get a chance — especially before meals, after coughing, after going to the bathroom, and after returning home from running errands. However, if doing so is not feasible, the next best option is to use hand sanitizer. To do so effectively, make sure to:

1. Buy a Sanitizer With Enough Alcohol

In order to make sure you’re using an effective one, make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol. However, avoid those that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

2. Cover Your Entire Hands

When using hand sanitizer, make sure to apply the gel all over the surfaces of your hands — including between fingers and under fingernails. Continue rubbing your hands together until they are dry.

3. Do Not Wipe It Off

Apply only one or two pumps of sanitizer to your hands. If you apply too much, you’ll end up with a wet mess you’ll want to wipe off — which can diminish its effectiveness and fail to kill all germs.

4. Store the Sanitizer Properly

Store hand sanitizer in a cool location. It’s crucial to keep it away from heat sources, as sanitizers are flammable — so much so that storing any amount greater than 10 gallons requires a flammable storage permit. By the same token, living in Florida, it is not advisable to keep sanitizer stored in your car.

5. Supervise Young Children

Always watch your kids when they use hand sanitizer. Getting it close to their eyes could cause irritation, and ingesting it could also cause poisoning — which is also something you want to keep in mind when choosing packaging, as some may look like candy. If a loved one accidentally swallows hand sanitizer, call Poison Control immediately.

Best Hand Sanitizers To Protect You Against COVID-19

When looking for hand sanitizers, read the back label. Although alcohol is often explicitly listed as alcohol, it is sometimes referred to as isopropanol, ethanol, ethyl alcohol, or 2-propanol.

Keep in mind, however, that the alcohol content is only a starting point of what to look for in a hand sanitizer. Popular brands, such as Purell, Germ-X, and Dr. Bronner’s are generally fine. But with so many brands on the market, it’s understandable to be wary about whether all of them are safe. To make sure, check the FDA list of toxic ingredients to avoid when purchasing hand sanitizer. When you click on the link, scroll down to the Do Not Use list. To make your search easier, there’s a search bar right on top of it. Enter the name of the brand you’re considering. If it doesn’t pop up, go ahead and buy it.

Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care in Florida

It can be hard to balance your time between work, home, and caring for a loved one. That’s why our team of professionals at Care Options for Kids is here to help.

Our home health care services offer support in the comfort of your home. We refer loving and competent nurses and caregivers to provide customized care for families — from a few hours a day to around-the-clock supervision. Contact us directly to speak with a home health care professional or request a free in-home assessment. Together we can determine the best plan of action to keep your loved ones happy and healthy.

If you or a loved one are considering pediatric or adult home health care services in Florida, contact the caring staff at Care Options for Kids. Call today at (888) 592-5855.