A habit as simple as washing hands with soap can prevent the spread of deadly diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome among children, AIM reported. Every October 15th is World Handwashing Day, this year’s theme is “United for Universal Hand Hygiene”.
On World Handwashing Day, celebrated by UNICEF in more than 60 developing countries, experts agree that this practice is one of the most important hygiene behaviors when it comes to reducing the risk of contracting viruses and bacteria.
The importance of hand washing
Prevents diarrheal diseases.
Reduces the transmission of respiratory diseases.
Reduces the frequency of skin diseases.
Fights eye infections such as trachoma.
Reduces intestinal infections such as ascariasis and trichuriasis.
When should you wash your hands?
Prepare food or eat it.
Treat a wound or take care of someone who is sick.
Insert or remove contact lenses.
Go to the toilet.
Blow your nose, sneeze or cough.
Eat raw food, especially meat.
Caring for sick or newborns.
Change the diapers.
Touching animals or handling their feces.
Play sports or exercise.
Go to a public place: hospitals, schools, etc.
The purpose of World Handwashing Day is to mobilize and motivate millions of people around the world to wash their hands with soap and water.
Handwashing with soap is one of the most effective and cost-effective ways to prevent, among others, diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, which together kill an estimated 3.5 million children each year.
Children are particularly vulnerable to diseases caused by inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. More than 5,000 children under the age of five die each day from diarrheal diseases, in part because of contaminated water, lack of basic sanitation and poor hygiene practices.
By washing hands with soap and water, families and communities can help cut childhood morbidity from diarrheal diseases by almost half.
Partnerships with national and local governments, international and nongovernmental organizations, religious and community leaders, schools, and the private sector are critical to achieving such reductions as well as large-scale, community-responsive, and sustainable change.
School is an ideal environment for spreading the habit. Children who learn good hygiene practices at school can become agents of change, spreading the messages they learn to their families and communities.
These hygienic practices, especially when performed after going to the toilet or before eating, can have important positive effects on health and survival and help reduce child mortality and poverty.
How to wash your hands properly
Here are some simple steps to remove germs from our hands. Show your child this routine, or better yet, wash your hands with your child several times a day so that he knows the importance of this habit.
Wash your hands with warm water. Make sure the water is not too hot for little hands
Use soap and rub your hands together vigorously for 15-20 seconds (you don’t have to use antibacterial soap, any soap is fine). Make sure you thoroughly wash the area between your toes and under your nails, where germs like to hide. Don’t forget the dolls! Wash your hands and dry them well with a clean, dry towel.
The slogan for 2022 is “United for Universal Hand Hygiene”
It’s an opportunity to learn, design, iterate and share creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap and water at critical times, at home, in the community and around the world.
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