Do you wash your hands after using a public rest room… after changing a diaper… before eating?
Chances are if you answer a telephone poll you will say you do because you know you should.
A study reported on in HealthDay News found that 85 percent of Americans wash their hands after using a public bathroom in 2010, compared with only 77 percent in 2007. The observational study was conducted at six locations in four cities.
A separate survey done by phone found that 96 percent of Americans said they always wash their hands after using public bathrooms. Sometimes what we say and what we do is at odds.
Amazingly, only 82 percent of respondents said they wash their hands after changing a diaper! Seventy-seven percent said they always wash their hands before eating. Most of us still don’t wash our hands after coughing or sneezing. Women rank higher than men in all categories.
It’s not only Americans who need to improve their hygiene. Last year, a study published by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that that less than one-third of men and two-thirds of women wash their hands with soap after using the restroom. Researchers studied the behavior of a quarter of a million people using restrooms in Britain and used sensors to monitor soap use.
With school back in session and cold and flu season upon us, this is a great time to remind ourselves and our children that hand washing is the simplest — and cheapest — way to avoid getting sick. This simple act helps prevent spread of the common cold, diarrheal diseases, respiratory infections, MRSA, food-borne illnesses such as salmonella and E. coli, and seasonal flu, among other things.
In the home, frequent hand washing, especially before and after food preparation, eating, diaper changing, coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, and using the bathroom will help prevent germs from spreading among family members. It’s the best way to avoid getting sick!
In hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices, frequent hand washing can prevent deadly infections from spreading between health care workers and patients.
Next: There’s a right way and a wrong way to wash your hands…