Personal hygiene begins with handwashing, and clean hands prevent sickness. Even though the first week of December is National Handwashing Awareness Week, proper handwashing should be every day of every week, especially during the winter months where there are more germs in the air. Making a habit of good hand hygiene is important to prevent infections and sicknesses.
Handwashing Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- It is estimated that washing hands with soap and water reduces diarrheal disease-associated deaths by up to 50 percent.
- Handwashing reduces the risk of foodborne illness and other infections.
- Handwashing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16 percent.
- Approximately 80 percent of communicable diseases can be transferred by person-to-person contact.
- Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of death in young children and elderly people and can be prevented by regular hand washing.
- By not drying your hands, you are more likely to spread bacteria.
- Studies show people who wash their hands have 24 percent less likely to call out sick from work because of respiratory sickness.
Proper Hand Washing Tips
People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it and germs often seep in making us sick and causing a cold, the flu and even pneumonia. That’s why it’s imperative to make it a point to wash your hands several times a day. But, did you know there is a proper way to wash your hands to get rid of germs?
- First, wet your hands then lather them with a good amount of soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands and between your fingers. The ideal amount of time to wash your hands is 30 seconds to be sure all the germs are gone.
- Most bacteria on our hands is underneath the fingernails, so when you’re washing, be sure to scrub underneath them.
- Reusable cloth towels have millions of bacteria in their fibers. Using disposable paper towels is the cleanest way to dry your hands.
Keeping a hand sanitizer in your pocket for those times it is not possible to wash your hands is a wise idea. Studies show that just by using hand sanitizer, the detection of a virus on people’s hands went from 39 percent to 11 percent. It’s always a good idea to keep hand sanitizer on you or at your desk and to use it before touching your office phone, mouse or keyboard.
The therapists and staff at San Simeon by the Sound are extremely aware of hand hygiene and always practice proper hand washing, especially when dealing with residents.