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2 years ago · · Comments Off on Pass The Turkey, Not The Germs, This Holiday Season By Practicing Hand Hygiene

Pass The Turkey, Not The Germs, This Holiday Season By Practicing Hand Hygiene

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As influenza and respiratory illnesses are on the rise across the country, the importance of hand hygiene has never been more important. Holidays are a great time to be grateful and celebrate life with family and friends. However, flu and colds can destroy the celebration mood. While the holidays are fun-filled events with lots of cooking and hugs, they are also a time when there is an enormous spread of germs. Handwashing is one of the effective and easiest methods to prevent germs spread. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many diseases are spread by not washing hands with soap appropriately.

You don’t want to miss tasting those mouthwatering treats or warm hugs and handshakes, so be sure to wash your hands frequently to avoid the spread of germs. Here are the benefits of proper handwashing during holidays.

1) Prevents the Spread of Infections and Illnesses

Proper handwashing with soap removes germs from your hands that cause illnesses like colds and flu. Germs can spread from unwashed hands and get into your body through your mouth, nose, and eyes as you frequently touch them or through foods and drinks.

In addition, germs can be transferred from your unwashed hands to surfaces like table tops, handrails, locks, or toys, and then to another person when they touch these objects. Handwashing helps prevent diarrhea, eye and skin infections, and respiratory infections. Here is when to wash your hands:

  • After using toilet
  • Before and after caring for a sick person
  • Before and after dressing and treating a wound or cut
  • Before and after eating food
  • Before, during, and after cooking food
  • After changing diapers or cleaning a child after they use a toilet
  • After touching trash cans or garbage
  • After touching animal feed or animal waste

2) Handwashing helps Protect Children from Certain Illnesses

Diarrhea and pneumonia diseases are the top killers of children under the age of five. Washing your hands with soap removes germs that spread these illnesses, protecting more children.

Also, it is important to teach people, including children, the importance of handwashing and how to wash hands effectively. Many people clean their hands, but only a few use soap. Soap helps remove germs more effectively.

During this holiday season, wash your hands frequently and appropriately and protect children from infections. 

Here are simple handwashing steps:

  • Wet hands with water, apply enough soap, and lather for about 20 seconds or more
  • Vigorously scrub your hands and rub them palm to palm
  • Wash the backs of your hands using your palm. Your left palm on the back of your right hand and vice versa
  • Rub palm to palm with fingers interlocked
  • Rub each thumb rotationally using your palm. Right thumb using left palm and vice versa
  • Rinse well with running water and remove all soap traces
  • Air dry your hands or use a single-use towel
  • Turn off the tap using the towel

3) Handwashing Helps Prevent Antibiotics Overuse

The more people wash their hands, the more they reduce the rate of illnesses, reducing antibiotic use. According to CDC, cleaning hands frequently can help prevent diarrhea-related infections by 30% and respiratory diseases by 20%.

Often, antibiotics are prescribed to treat these illnesses. So, handwashing helps prevent frequent sicknesses and antibiotic overuse, which in the long run, results in antibiotic resistance. In addition, washing hands removes antibiotic-resistant germs.

As you have fun this holiday, don’t underestimate the importance of handwashing. The power to prevent the spread of infectious illnesses like flu or diarrhea is in your hands. Also, as people worldwide commemorate National Handwashing Awareness Week this holiday season, remember always to wash your hands regularly and effectively.

In case soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers to reduce the spread of disease-causing germs on your unwashed hands. So, enjoy yourselves this holiday and spread more love, not germs, by washing your hands.

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