You are GRAND if you wash your HANDS!
Do you know where hand washing originated from? How did handwashing become something we do multiple times a day? Well, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention calls hand washing “a do-it-yourself vaccine”. It is recommended that you should be washing hands with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds various times throughout the day.
The History of Handwashing
Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian doctor, is known as the father of hand hygiene. In 1846, he noticed that the women giving birth in the maternity ward in his hospital were much more likely to develop a fever and die compared to the women giving birth in the adjacent maternity ward (which was ran by midwives). He noticed that doctors in his hospital often visited the maternity ward right after performing an autopsy. Based on this observation, Semmelweis developed a theory that those performing autopsies got ‘cadaverous particles’ on their hands, which doctors then carried from the autopsy room into the maternity ward. Midwives did not conduct surgery or autopsies, so they were not exposed to these particles and had higher survival rates.
It wasn’t until a few years later that the Crimean War brought about a new handwashing champion, Florence Nightingale. At a time when most people believed that infections were caused by foul odors called miasmas, Nightingale implemented handwashing and other hygiene practices in the war hospital in which she worked. While the target of these practices was to fight the miasmas, Nightingale’s handwashing practices achieved a reduction in infections.
Memorize the Five Steps of Handwashing:
Super Clean Facts about Handwashing?
- Handwashing equals happiness
- 1 in 5 infections can be prevented by handwashing including the flu
- The dirty secret of public restrooms
- CDC reports that only 31% of men and 65% of women wash their hands after using a public restroom
- Hand wash your way to health
- Using antibiotics can create resistance. Handwashing prevents many sicknesses, so people need less antibiotics
- Sneezes are mini hurricanes
- A typical human sneeze exits the body at about 200 miles per hour and emits around 40,000 droplets into the air
What if You Can't Wash Your Hands?
- Use alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol
- Keep in mind sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs
- Wipes can be used, wipe all areas of hands until they are visibly clean
- Let hands air dry
- Use these methods when traveling, after a workout, or before eating an inflight meal