Everyone is Lying About this Simple Health Matter

hand washingWell, not everyone.  According to studies, it’s about 95% of us.

Have you ever been in a public restroom and seen someone walk out without washing their hands? Chances are good that we’ve all seen it.

Researchers at Michigan State University hid out in a public restroom and recorded the hand-washing activities of 3,749 people.  What they found was gross, but not entirely surprising.  Ten percent (10%) of restroom users didn’t  wash their hands at all.  Twenty-three percent (23%) put their hands under water but did not use soap.  Of the remaining 66% of restroom users, only 5% actually washed their hands with soap and for a long enough period of time to be effective.

What is amazing is that studies showed that 96% of respondents claim to wash their hands consistently.

A lot of us aren’t telling the truth.

Just to be clear, we’re not saying this to criticize anyone.  The fact of the matter is that the number one way to prevent the spread of infectious disease is by washing your hands.  And there’s little benefit  in washing your hands if you aren’t going to wash them correctly.

How To Wash Your Hands

The CDC gives clear direction on how to wash your hands effectively.

  1. Wet:  Run your hands completely under water (the temperature doesn’t matter), turn off water and add soap.
  2. Lather:  Rub your hands together, working up a soapy lather.  Apply suds all over hands; the palms and back of your hands, as well as fingers.
  3. Scrub:  Continue lathering for at least 20 seconds.  Scrub between fingers and under nails.
  4. Rinse:  Rinse hands in clean running water.
  5. Dry: Make sure you use a clean towel, or you can let your hands air dry.

Hand Washing is Needed When…

When is a good time to wash your hands?  Again, the CDC gives clear instructions.

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • 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
  • After touching garbage

Washing your hands may not be the most enjoyable thing you do all day, but if you wash consistently and correctly, you reduce your chances of catching communicable disease; including stomach viruses, influenza, and the common cold.  Even though we’re here for you with all the OTC and prescription medications you need to get through a bout of illness, we at Brian’s Pharmacies would like nothing better than to see you and your loved ones not get sick at all.


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