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November 30, 2017 | Health Advice

National Handwashing Awareness

National Handwashing Awareness Week: December 3-9

The winter season is infamous for bringing runny noses and hacking coughs along with the holiday cheer. If only there was a way to prevent all that sickness!

Well, we might not be able to prevent it entirely but we certainly can slow it down. That’s what National Handwashing Awareness Week is all about.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick.” And the best news? Washing your hands is simple and inexpensive.

Henry the Hand outlines Four Principles of Hand Awareness. The first one is especially applicable during National Handwashing Awareness Week: always wash your hands when they’re dirty and before eating. (The other three offer great advice too: don’t cough into your hands, don’t sneeze into your hands, and don’t put your fingers in your eyes, nose, or mouth.)

From December 3-9, we’re reminded that we each have a great deal of power when it comes to preventing the spread of disease. Take that responsibility seriously when you step up to the sink! The CDC suggests washing your hands on all these occasions:

  • Before, during, and after food preparation.
  • Before eating.
  • Before and after contact with a sick or wounded person.
  • After going to the bathroom or changing a diaper.
  • After blowing your nose or sneezing.
  • After handling garbage.
  • After playing with a pet or working with animals in any capacity.

Handwashing is more than a quick rinse under the faucet. You should wet your hands, lather with soap, scrub for at least twenty seconds, and then rinse and dry with a clean towel. For children, you can teach them to scrub while they sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or another song.

When in doubt, wash those hands! In the dry winter months, keep a moisturizer close to the sink so the dryness doesn’t discourage you from washing. We all know what it’s like to feel crummy and curled up in bed while everyone else is enjoying the season: not fun! Wash your hands regularly throughout the day to help protect yourself and those around you.