National Handwashing Awareness Week

National Handwashing Awareness Week

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National Handwashing Awareness Week is celebrated this year from December 1st to December 7th. This week is designed to inform the public about the importance of good hand hygiene and the importance of regularly washing your hands to try and prevent illness from spreading. Especially this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic we need to be extremely cautious about washing our hands to try and prevent illnesses from spreading to others.

Some Interesting Facts About Hand Washing

Did you know that 80% of all communicable diseases can be transferred by touch or having person to person contact? That also means that touching your face with dirty hands can also spread sickness such as pneumonia, a cold or even the flu. Having bacteria on your hands and then touching your face is a very common way of getting yourself sick, especially when you are not regularly washing your hands. According to data, only about 75% of women and 50% of men report washing their hands after using the bathroom. There is a lot of bacteria on bathroom sinks and toilets which is why washing your hands after going to the bathroom is extremely important. Not only that but drying your hands after you wash them is also just as important. Damp hands are 1,000 times more likely to spread bacteria than dry hands, however, it was reported that typically only 20% of people wait until their hands are fully dry.

National Handwashing Awareness Week is sponsored by Henry the Hand Foundation. The goal of this foundation was to remind the public to be aware of the importance of handwashing. This time of the year is always extremely important due to the cold and flu season and this year is particularly important with the COVID- 19 pandemic. Also, do not forget that the ideal time to wash your hands is at least 30 seconds long. Make sure to wash your hands, but also to wash your hands properly.

Studies show that people who regularly wash their hands have about 24% fewer sick days due to a respiratory illness and 51% fewer sick days due to having a stomach bug. Throughout this week and the rest of this year, make sure you and your family are being vigilant about washing your hands to help stay safe during this crazy time of cold, flu, and COVID.

Author: Samantha Potocnik
Samantha is an intern at EVOLVE and a student at the University of Wisconsin River Falls.

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