Healthy Hands Are Productive

Rinsing then drying hands completely with a paper towel can reduce 77% of bacteria

It’s easy to pick up a virus in school or at the office. You work closely with others or sit in close classroom quarters. You turn the same doorknobs and faucet handles, drink from the same fountains, and push the same copier and vending machine buttons. A simple handshake, touch, or sharing a pencil is all it takes to transfer germs.

Consider the following:

  • 80% of all infectious illnesses are spread through hands and surfaces
  • The average desk has more than 20,000 germs per square inch on it
  • Lost work days due to sickness costs the American economy $20 billion annually
  • Illness contributes to about 144 million lost school days each year

Sickness is a major loss of learning opportunity for school children and loss of productivity for business and industry. So what’s the best way to mitigate the spread of germs? Healthy Hand Hygiene!

It’s a fact that when students and employees practice healthy hand hygiene habits like washing hands, using sanitizer and coughing into their sleeves, they experience fewer sick days. Healthy children learn and achieve more, schools receive more funding, and healthy employees are more productive.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say that keeping hands clean is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness. They even go so far as to say “Clean Hands Save Lives.” Following are some of the times the CDC recommends washing hands:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

While washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water is important, it's equally important to wipe them completely dry afterwards. This is because damp hands spread more bacteria and viruses than dry hands.

The most effective way to reduce the spread of bacteria is to use paper towels. Even the Mayo Clinic agrees, concluding that “Hand hygiene has the potential to prevent diseases and reduce health care-associated infections. The proper drying of hands after washing should be an essential component of effective hand hygiene procedures. Most studies have found that paper towels can dry hands efficiently, remove bacteria effectively, and cause less contamination of the washroom environment. From a hygiene standpoint, paper towels are superior to air dryers; therefore, paper towels should be recommended for use in locations in which hygiene is paramount…”

The CDC actually defines best-practice handwashing procedures, which should be posted in schools and facilities above or near sinks.

When soap and water are not available to wash hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. It’s a good idea to have sanitizer next to or near the germiest places in schools and workplaces.

Ask your Nassco representative for additional information on how to implement a comprehensive Healthy Hands program in your school, business, or organization.

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