Happy Handwashing Day! Yes, today is Global Handwashing Day and it’s the 5th year that this day has been celebrated on October 15th.  While most people are aware of the importance of washing their hands, very few people use both soap and water which is the MOST effective way to remove bacteria. 

Handwashing with soap is such an important way to prevent disease transmission, especially for children under the age of 5.  Diarrheal diseases and respiratory diseases are the top two killers of children around the world (over 2 million children around the world die from these diseases each year). 

Simple handwashing with soap and water can prevent the spread of disease and decrease the number of children who will get sick. This is true in both developed and underdeveloped countries and is an inexpensive and reliable way to prevent disease transmission. 

Handwashing with soap could reduce the incidence of diarrhea by 30% and respiratory infections by 21% in children under the age of 5 years. 

So, as we approach the peak time of year for both respiratory and diarrheal disease in the United States, let’s all pull out the soap and remember to wash your hands!  Set an example for everyone especially your kids and teach then all about good handwashing and the importance of using soap and water. 

Remember to tell your kids to sing the ‘Happy Birthday” song as they wash.  That’s about as long as you need to scrub away most germs.