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David Morgan
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Make Handwashing a Habit

October 12, 2016 - Public Relations - Awareness

This page on the Center for Disease Control website features publications, data, and statistics about the importance of handwashing. Every time you use a public restroom, how many times do you see someone leave without washing their hands? Are you one of them? Do you judge them? Whatever category you fall in, you’re not alone.

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 31% of men and 65% of women wash their hands after using a public restroom.

Saturday, October 15th is Global Handwashing Day…one day out of the year to encourage more people to practice what should be an everyday habit.  The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) reminds residents this flu season of the importance of hand washing to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.

Despite widespread knowledge of the importance of hand washing, research shows us we’re not putting what we know to use. The result being many more cringe inducing revelations such as:

  • 1 in 4 adults don’t wash hands after changing diapers.
  • Less than 1/2 of Americans wash hands after cleaning up after pets.
  • 1 in 3 wash hands after sneezing/coughing.

The point is many of us need to wash are hands more often. We can pass on cold and flu germs too easily without even knowing it. Children have weaker immune systems than adults and can become sick quicker if we don’t make sure they wash their hands too.

Germs that can cause disease live in meat, vegetables, and more. That’s why 1 in 3 E. coli outbreaks are caused by poor hand washing when we’re preparing food. Germs spread from uncooked foods like hamburger to the hands, then from the hands to other foods like salads. The germs can remain in the other foods and eventually affect anyone who eats it.

The Department of Health reminds New Mexicans to wash your hands

  • Before/during/after preparing food, before eating
  • After using the toilet, after changing diapers or cleaning a child after using the toilet
  • Before/after caring for sick people
  • After blowing your nose/coughing/sneezing
  • Before/after caring for cuts/wounds
  • After touching an animal or its feed or waste
  • After touching garbage

The CDC reports the correct way of washing hands is to:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
  • Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Continue rubbing 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 running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.

For more information on handwashing, please visit CDC's page on Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives.


Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.


Versión en Español

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