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Frightening Facts About Hand Hygiene

Frightening Facts About Hand Hygiene

Studies Show We Aren’t Washing Our Hands The Way We Should Be

Halloween is the perfect time to talk about hand hygiene. It's a topic that's sure to make everyone squirm, but it's critical to keep our hands clean to protect ourselves from disease—especially with fluand cold season upon us! Here are some handwashing facts that will make your skin crawl and inspire you to boost your hand hygiene:

The Importance of Handwashing

It's no secret that handwashing is essential for preventing the spread of illness. But just how effective is it? Studies have shown that handwashing can reduce the incidence of respiratory diseases such as colds and the flu by up to 21 percent!

It's not just respiratory illnesses that handwashing can help prevent. Hand hygiene also has been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of diarrheal diseases and skin infections. In fact, one study found that handwashing with soap and water was associated with a 53 percent reduction in diarrheal disease incidence.

How Well Do People Really Wash Their Hands?

According to a recent study, nearly half of Americans wash their hands incorrectly. This is concerning because proper hand hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent illness. If that statistic doesn't alarm you, keep these in mind:


Hand-Hygiene Tips

Washing your hands is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of disease—whether it’s after you use the restroom or before you eat lunch. Here are some tips to make sure you're washing your hands properly:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water and apply soap
  • Rub your hands together to create a lather and scrub all over, including the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails
  • Continue scrubbing for at least 20 seconds (about the time it would take to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice!)
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or let them air dry

Hand sanitizer is the next best thing if soap and water aren't available. Look for a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, and follow these steps:

  • Apply the hand sanitizer to the palm of one hand
  • Rub your hands together, covering all surfaces of your hands and fingers, until your hands are dry

Family Medicine in Middleburg Heights

Hand hygiene is a simple but important way to protect yourself and others from disease. Make sure you're washing your hands regularly and properly to help prevent the spread of illness this season!

Southwest General Medical Group, Inc. is here to work closely with you to ensure you are always feeling your best all year long! To learn more about our family medicine services, or to schedule an appointment with one of our primary care providers, visit our website.