Healthy Hand Hygiene Habits: Alarming Reasons Why We Should Be Making More Efforts To Wash Our Hands

Washing your hands is much more than just ‘cleaning your hands.’ In fact, poor hand hygiene plays an important role in spreading germs and diseases.


Many germs stem from feces particles left on unwashed hands and cause salmonella, diarrhea and other respiratory infections that are spread to people when they touch their eyes, nose, and mouth throughout the day after handling objects that have been touched with unclean hands. 


By washing our hands with soap and water, as recommended by the CDC and, respiratory illnesses alone could be reduced by 16-21%. Of those who reported to wash their hands with water, very few are said to use soap as well. It is globally estimated that 19% of people wash their hands after using the toilet. 


Researchers estimate that over one million deaths a year can be prevented by boosting our hand hygiene habits. Washing your hands with soap and water can reduce diarrhea-related illnesses by 30% and respiratory infections by 20%.


The top two diseases in the world that lead to death in children are caused by diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, killing 1.8 million children under the age of 5 annually. Both diseases can be reduced by washing hands properly and often. The CDC states that washing your hands with soap and water can protect 1 of 3 children who get sick. 


Having good hand washing habits as well as teaching communities about thorough hand washing can reduce absences in schoolchildren by 29-57% and reduces the overall amount of people who get sick by 23-40%.


It is recommended by the CDC to wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds and in the following steps:


  1. Wet Your Hands
  2. Get Soap
  3. Scrub
  4. Rinse
  5. Dry


In circumstances where soap and water is not available, hand sanitizer is a good alternative with the suggested alcohol content of at least 60%. Sanitizer does not get rid of all germs and cannot remove dirt/grease or harmful chemicals, but can reduce the number of germs on your hands. 


For further assistance with urgent care, women’s health, men’s health or pediatric care, please visit: where you can get a same-day prescription from your phone (that means less exposure to unnecessary germs).

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