Saturday, October 15, 2022 is Global Handwashing Day

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

Each year on October 15, CDC works with global partners and colleagues to highlight Global Handwashing Day and raise awareness about the importance of handwashing with soap and water.

Global Handwashing Day is a yearly reminder that handwashing with soap and water is one of the best steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. This year’s theme, “Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene,” calls for coordinated action as we actively work toward universal hand hygiene.

Handwashing with soap and water is one of the simplest, most effective ways to stop the spread of germs and stay healthy. Keeping hands clean can prevent 1 in 3 diarrheal illnesses and 1 in 5 respiratory infections, such as the common cold or flu. Handwashing at key times throughout the day can stop germs from spreading from person to person and throughout an entire community.

Always follow the steps to washing hands the right way:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water. Turn off the tap and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap, making sure to reach the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. 
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy. Studies show that handwashing education in the community can:

  • Reduce the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by about 23%–40% 
  • Reduce the number of school days children missed because of gastrointestinal illness by 29%–57%  
  • Reduce diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by about 58% 
  • Reduce respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by about 16%–21%

Check out this website for great resources.