National Hand Washing Week -

National Hand Washing Week


Don’t Let Germs Ruin Your Plans, Wash Your Hands!

Germs don’t care about the big report due or the big family trip coming up. The pesky buggers will hitch a ride onto the body every chance they get. An abundance of germs will cause the body to get sick.

Studies say 80% of communicable diseases are transferred by touch, which can be touching food, mouth, and touching another object. The germs jump from your body to the object and can be picked up by another human. Sicknesses include all respiratory illnesses, colds, flu, adenovirus, and even foot, hand, and mouth disease.

Salmonella is one of the top germs that can be picked up from not washing your hands and coming into contact with contaminated food. Salmonella poisoning is found from touching foods like pork, beef, and chicken that are not cooked or are undercooked and contain the bacteria. Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, cold, fever, and throwing up. Yuck!

National Hand Washing Week is the first week of December – prime time for germ passing – so enjoy these handy tips to prevent unwanted ruined plans:

  • Sing “Happy Birthday” twice. You need to wash your hands for 20 seconds in order for the practice to be effective.  Try singing “Happy Birthday” twice for the appropriate time. If in public, you might want to sing the song in your head to avoid extra attention. If not, sing your little heart out. We do not judge around these parts!
  • Wash your hands 27 times. Studies say that this standard procedure is a lifesaving practice. Even so, people don’t do it because they have not made a habit of the task.  Luckily, studies also say that doing something 27 times will form a habit (like buckling your seat belt or perfectly playing a song on the guitar). So, get to scrubbing!
  • Tell mom her general rule is out of date. Mom’s rule of thumb is to wash your hands before and after dinner is out of date. It’s important to wash your hands before and/or after these compromisable situations:
    • Preparing food
    • Consuming food with your fingers and hands
    • Taking out the trash
    • Playing with animals or animal food
    • Scooping kitty litter
    • Playing in the mud
    • Caring for a sick loved one
    • Treating a wound
    • Blowing nose or sneezing
    • Coughing
    • shaking hands – fist bumps are great when greeting a sneezy friend
    • Touching doorknobs in public places – elbows and feet are great alternatives. Use the paper towel you used to dry your hands with to open the door then toss it.
  • Bring sanitizer, but don’t rely on it. Studies say that sanitizer is not as effective as washing with soap and water, but bring it along when those two are not around. Most of the microbes will be killed, but not all the types of germs. Just squirt dime size amount of alcoholic-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer on your palm and get to rubbing!
  • Check out farmers’ markets for essential oil sprays and hand rubs as a healthy alternative to hand sanitizers. This is a nice stocking stuffer !!
  • YouTube it. Check out this video provided to you by the World Health Organization (WHO) to help teach others how to properly wash their hands.

Cut your chances down about 16-20% by washing your hands to avoid colds and respiratory illnesses. Celebrate by sharing this link and getting your friends and family involved in this standard, life-saving practice.

Deborah Price