That didn’t take long…
Here we are, the first week into October, and I’ve already been exposed to the season’s first cold a couple times.
My coworker was sneezing and coughing yesterday. When I got to my desk on Friday, I was met by an email telling me he’d be working from home in attempts to kick what had turned overnight into a nasty cold.
We recently talked about the importance of hand washing as kids (and teachers and administrators) head back to school.
It’s equally as important for working professionals to heed this message…
Even if you don’t have children, keep in mind that many of your colleagues are parents — which means their offspring are bringing home every other child’s germs, as well as whatever bugs were living on classroom doorknobs, desks, and cafeteria tables, each afternoon. Mom and Dad carry these germs to your office space along with their bagged lunch.
Add to this the fact that studies show a staggering (and disturbing!) one out of three American adults does not regularly wash his or her hands after using the restroom… and only one-third of people wash their hands after they have sneezed or coughed into them.
International Clean Hands Week has just recently passed, it was Sept. 15-21 and brought to you by the Clean Hands Coalition. The whole SoapBox crew had various trade shows, donation drops, etc. this past month… leads to late blog postings. 😉
What began as part of the Centers for Disease Control in 2003, the Clean Hands Coalition works with the support of Federal agencies, private corporations, and universities in the United States to spread the message that clean hands prevent illness and can save lives.
The organization uses the third week in September each year to raise awareness of the importance of best practices in hand hygiene, particularly in the sectors of health care, public health, and food safety.
Proper hand washing is our first line of defense against a host of germs, including the common cold, but not limited to dysentery, hepatitis A, influenza, and pneumonia.
The combination of soap, water, and education about hand washing has the power to halve the cases of pneumonia, currently the leading cause of death worldwide in children under age five, in the same age group.
What’s more, the FDA reports proper hand washing can help prevent up to 50% of food-borne illnesses.
So, what constitutes “proper hand washing”? Warm water, soap, and scrubbing for at least 15 to 20 seconds.
So wet those hands, pump that soap, and lather up.
Now, the debate continues among medical professionals about which is more effective: anti-bacterial soap or ‘regular’ soap.
It seems both will do the trick to defend your immune system against most of the germs you’ll encounter than if you skip the hand washing process entirely.
Check out some of our new liquid soaps to help you stay healthy this fall and beyond.