Lather, rinse, repeat … and repeat … and (you get it)

Ruchi Kaushik, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine
Medical Director, ComP-CaN (Comprehensive Peds for Complex Needs)
Medical Director, Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Blog

December 3-9 is National Handwashing Awareness Week. You have heard health care professionals talk about hand washing repeatedly. Well, if they haven’t convinced you and your family/friends to lather up this holiday season, I bet these gruesome facts will!

  • Approximately four out of five contagious diseases are passed by touching someone (and you just hugged your sister).
  • Only one out of five people wash their hands before preparing food (and your mom made the turkey this year).
  • Roughly one out of six cell phones have fecal (poop) matter on them (maybe because you just let your toddler nephew borrow yours?).
  • Almost two out of five people don’t wash their hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their noses (and you just shook your boss’s hand).
  • About seven percent of women and 15 percent of men do not wash their hands at all after using the bathroom. (EWWW! OK, that’s just gross.  And I really hope you don’t know anyone who does this.)

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