We're in the middle of two big weeks in health awareness - and they go hand-in-hand, literally! It's National Hand Washing Awareness Week and National Influenza Vaccination Week.
Hand washing is one of the best ways to stay healthy! It's a simple act, but oh so important. Here's why:
An estimated 2 Million to 10 Million bacteria are on your fingertips and elbows.
Bacteria doubles on fingertips after using the toilet.
Harmful bacteria, also known as pathogenic bacteria, cause disease and illnesses like strep throat, staph infections, cholera, tuberculosis, and food poisoning.
The cold virus can live on surfaces, like door knobs and handles, light switches, keyboards, and other hard surfaces for seven days!
The flu virus can last up to 24 hours.
80% of the illness-causing bacteria are spread through our hands.
Our phones, keyboards, cutting boards, and the TV remote often have more bacteria on them than the toilet!
Failing to wash hands correctly contributes to nearly 50% of all food-borne illness outbreaks.
Hand Washing Saves Lives & Reduces Diseases and Infections
The CDC says washing hands with soap and water can reduce diarrhea disease-associated deaths by up to 50%.
Hand washing reduces up to 40% of diarrhea illnesses in most healthy people, and for people with weakened immune systems, hand washing reduces similar illnesses by 58%.
Hand washing reduces respiratory illnesses, like pneumonia, colds, and flu by up to 21%.
For school children, hand washing reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illnesses by up to 57%.
When to Wash Your Hands
Before, during, and after preparing food;
Before eating food;
Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting and/or diarrhea;
Before and after treating a cut or wound;
After using the toilet;
After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet;
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;
After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste;
After handling pet food or pet treats, and
After touching garbage and other contaminants.
How to Properly Wash Hands
Wet hands, add soap - if water and soap aren't available use alcohol-based hand sanitizer - Wash hands for at least 20 seconds before rinsing - rubbing hands palm to palm to lather soap,
Rub palms to the back of the hands.
Rub palm to palm with your fingers interlaced.
Rub hands with fingers interlocked.
Rub each thumb clasped in opposite palms.
Rub fingertips into the palms.
Rub each wrist, rinse with water, and thoroughly dry hands.
Of course, an additional way to stay healthy and prevent the flu this and every flu season is to get a flu shot. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on more about the flu bug.
BMI Wellness Concepts is committed to helping you Get Well, Be Well, Stay Well.