Hand Washing Awareness Week

Posted: December 3, 2013 at 11:17 am, Last Updated: October 5, 2015 at 11:02 am

Hand washing with soap

December 4-10, 2013 is National Hand Washing Awareness Week.

Some of us are getting caught dirty handed! Only 39% of Americans say they always wash their hands after coughing or sneezing. 77% of men washed their hands publicly in 2010, compared to 66% in 2007. Women washing their hands in public restrooms went up to 93% in 2010 (from 88% in 2007). Everyone has room to improve!

Proper hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of illness and infection. As cold and flu season approaches, hand washing and sanitization can help protect you and our Mason community from getting sick.

Do you wash your hands for 20 seconds when you scrub up? Are you using soap and scrubbing the back of your hand and in-between your fingers? Does your hand sanitizer contain at least 60% alcohol? If not, check out some tips for better hand washing.

Hand Washing Tips

Wash your hands before and after food preparation and eating, after using the bathroom, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

Apply soap to wet hands. 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 help timing? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice)

Rinse your hands well. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.

If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but remember that sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.

Additional Information

Centers for Disease Control

Washup.org Clean Hands Campaign