“Clean hands are the single most important factor in preventing the spread of dangerous germs and antibiotic resistance in healthcare settings”, said Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the CDC.
Personal hygiene, such as bathing, is very much dependent on the culture in which you live. In some cultures, it is expected that you will wash your body at least every day and use deodorants to stop body smells. Other cultures have different expectations.
Facts & Data
- "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) washing and disinfecting your hands is one of the most effective methods for preventing and spreading germs to other people."
- "Ideally, you should wash your hands several times throughout the day. Wash your hands before touching food - whether cooking or eating - and before helping a sick or injured person, according to MayoClinic.com. You should wash your hands every time you finish using the bathroom as well as after blowing your nose, changing a diaper, preparing food, handling garbage or helping a sick or injured person."
- Hand washing with soap is estimated to reduce incidents of diarrhea by 30% and respiratory infections by 21% in children under the age of five.
- Every 15 seconds, one child dies from diarrhea or pneumonia, diseases that are preventable through the simple act of handwashing with soap.
- Most infections, especially colds and gastroenteritis, are caught when we put our unwashed hands, which have germs on them, to our mouth. Some infections are caught when other people’s dirty hands touch the food we eat. Hands and wrists should be washed with clean soap and water, using a brush if your fingernails are dirty. Dry your hands with something clean, such as paper towels or hot air dryers.
- Only 3 in 5 people (59%) claim their children ALWAYS wash their hands before eating. A quarter said ‘most’ of the time (26%), 9% sometimes, 2% rarely and 1% never.
- The CDC estimates that each year nearly 2 million patients in the United States get an infection in hospitals.
- Of these 2 million patients, 90,000 die as a result of their infection.
- Less than 75% of women and less than 50% of men wash their hands after going to the bathroom
- Every time a toilet is flushed with the lid up, a fine mist containing bacteria such as E. Coli and Staph is spread over an area of 6 square meters. The area around sinks in public bathrooms is 90% covered in such bacteria.
The Global Hygiene Council is a group of leading global experts in the fields of microbiology, virology, infectious disease, immunology, and public health. The Council review current infectious disease threats to society and formulate realistic recommendations on simple hygiene measures to help the public improve levels of hygiene in the home and community and in turn help to prevent the spread of all kinds of infections.
This year, The Global Hygiene Council, responding to consumer confusion about how best to be hygienically safe at home, has come up with a set of practical recommendations to help all of us practice good hygiene. By translating science into practice, everyone can have a clear idea of best practice.
The Hygiene Standards recommended by the Hygiene Council focuses on four key areas that we should monitor for good home hygiene: our hands, the surfaces in our home, our food preparation and storage and household laundry.
How Should You Wash Your Hands?
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- After handling dogs or other animals
When Should You Wash Your Hands?
Eating or feeding children
Applying contact lenses
Giving medication or first aid
Using the toilet or changing a child’s diaper
Handling pets and domestic animals
Contact with blood or body fluids
Coughing, sneezing, or blowing and scratching the nose
Contact with a potentially contaminated site
Before and After:
Handling raw food
Tending to someone who is sick
And Whenever . . .
Hands appear dirty