National Handwashing Awareness Week

National Omphaloskepsis (navel-gazing) Week. Most designated national days or weeks are meaningless, and are perhaps promoted and created by special interests. It is fairly well known that Mother’s Day began in order to sell cards and to increase postage revenue. Even when national days or weeks are important and significant then they are important and significant every day or week. For example, if there were a National Eat Food and Drink Liquids Day or a National Sleep Week then we would say that eating food, drinking liquids and sleeping or getting adequate rest are important all of the time, not at just the designated time.

Such is the fate of the “National Handwashing Awareness Week” infographic as shown in the following infographic. Handwashing is always important, although if a week is spent in emphasizing it and potentially eliminating the need for a week of advancing it (because it has become well known and accepted) then we suppose that it is a week well worth spent.

Moreover, the infographic–as do most infographics–show not only how or why something is important but also how to achieve it. In this regard, it is nice to know that the recommended time needed (and of which we had not been aware) is that of 15 seconds, although many studies have shown that a significantly greater effectiveness is achieved by washing your hands with soap for 30 seconds.

It is also somewhat surprising (at least to us) that any soap can be used. However, bar soap should be placed in a well-aerated container which is to be cleaned thoroughly before another soap is placed there.

Likes: “The Facts” section is especially eye-opening, helpful and useful.

Dislikes: A neatly presented infographic, nothing to dislike.

National Handwashing Awareness Week runs Sunday, December 4 through December 10 with Global Handwashing Day happening back on October 15. Hand washing can be one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of contagious disease when done correctly. It is important that we teach students about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sensible hand washing in schools not only prevents the spread of contagious symptoms like colds, but also more serious diseases like hepatitis A and meningitis.

National Handwashing Awareness Week


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