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Handwashing 101: Germs are Everywhere

Posted on 11/30/2018
Soapy handsWeld County - Personal hygiene begins and ends with our hands. And though we are taught as children 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. In honor of National Handwashing Awareness Week, which takes place each year during the first week of December, here are five clean facts about hand hygiene:

1.) Handwashing Equals Happiness – According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, handwashing can prevent 1 in 3 diarrhea-related illnesses and 1 in 5 infections, including the flu.

2.) Beware of the Twin Killers for Kids – About 1.4 million children under age 5 die from diarrheal disease and pneumonia – the two most deadly afflictions for children worldwide.

3.) The Dirty Secret of Public Restrooms – The CDC also reports that only 31 percent of men and 65 percent of women washed their hands after using a public restroom.

4.) Hand Wash Your Way to Health – Using antibiotics creates antibiotic resistance. Handwashing prevents many sicknesses, so people need less antibiotics. Therefore, less antibiotic resistance.

5.) Sneezes are Mini Hurricanes – A typical human sneeze exits the body at about 200 miles per hour and emits around 40,0000 droplets into the air.

The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment (WCDPHE) recommends washing your hands with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds making sure to get a good lather going and clean the back of the hands, between the fingers and under the nails. Hands should be dried using a clean towel. The four principles of hand cleanliness are:

1.) Wash your hands when they are dirty and before eating
2.) Do not cough into your hands
3.) Do not sneeze into hands
4.) Don’t put your fingers in your eyes, nose or mouth

For more information on National Hand Washing Awareness Week, visit "Health Hot Topics" at  www.weldhealth.org.