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National Handwashing Awareness Week

December 2, 2021

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National Handwashing Awareness Week runs December 1 thru December 7, 2021. But in reality - EVERY WEEK is National Handwashing Week - right? Did you know studies show that people who wash their hands have 24% less sick days because of respiratory illness and 51% fewer sick days due to a sick stomach?

Personal hygiene begins and ends with our hands. And though we’re taught as kids to wash our hands before dinner, it’s important to remember that germs don’t care what time of day it is. Clean hands prevent sickness - including COVID-19. So it’s especially important to learn the basics about hand hygiene so that you, too, can become a champion hand washer!

Experts recommend washing your hands with soap and clean water for at least 30 seconds. Be sure to get a good lather going and clean the back of the hands, between the fingers and under the nails. Dry them using a clean towel. Damp hands are 1,000 times more likely to spread bacteria than dry hands - yet only 20% of people dry their hands after they wash them.

There is a lot of science behind these recommendations, so be sure to follow them each time you wash [and dry] your hands.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls hand washing "a do-it-yourself vaccine" and suggests remembering five easy steps: Wet, lather, scrub, rinse, dry.

Endorsed by the American Medical Association and American Academy of Family Physicians, the four principles of hand awareness are:

1) Wash your hands when they are dirty and before eating.

2) Do not cough into hands. 

3) Do not sneeze into hands. A typical human sneeze exits the body at about 200 miles per hour and emits around 40,000 droplets into the air. 🤢

4) Don't put your fingers in your eyes, nose or mouth. Think of how many different things we touch during the course of an average day. Now imagine how many of those things were touched by other people's hands. Again - 🤢! Wash your hands to prevent the spread of dangerous microbes. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, handwashing can prevent 1 in 3 diarrhea-related illnesses and 1 in 5 infections, including the flu. About 1.4 million children under age 5 die from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia — the two most deadly afflictions for children worldwide.

The CDC also reports that only 50% of men and 75% of women washed their hands after using a public restroom. Goods news - this stat is up from last year!  

And happy hands make for happy and healthy homes. Using antibiotics creates antibiotic resistance. Handwashing prevents many sicknesses, so people need less antibiotics. Therefore, less antibiotic resistance.

So let's all together - SCRUB DOWN!

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