Monday, October 15, 2012

Celebrating Global Handwashing Day

Today is Global Hand-washing Day. Yes, you heard us right: Hand-washing has its own worldwide celebration.

Why make such a fuss over washing your hands? Because hand-washing is a pretty big deal! Here in the U.S., we might take soap and water for granted, but it is one of the most important things a person can do to stay healthy. In fact, a study of students in Detroit showed that people who wash their hands properly reported 24 percent fewer colds and 51 percent fewer stomach illnesses.
"Wash Your Hands" poster in 24 launguages, courtesy the Minnesota Department of Health
Image: "Wash Your Hands" poster in 24 languages,
courtesy Minnesota Department of Public Health

So how do you wash your hands the right way? Take five:
  1. Use clean, warm water.
  2. Lather up with soap.
  3. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds — long enough to say the alphabet, or sing the “happy birthday” song twice.
  4. Rinse your hands with clean water.
  5. Dry your hands.
If soap and clean water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content.

That’s it! If you start practicing healthy hand habits today, each and every time you wash your hands, you’re already on your way to a healthier you.

For more information about hand-washing, and for tips on talking to kids, teens and adults about the best way to wash their hands, check out our free fact sheets!

No comments: