Back to School or Back to Germs?

It’s that time of year for back to school and back to germs. Were you aware that over 80% of all illnesses are transmitted through the hands? This number of illnesses spread can be greatly reduced this year with the proper education of handwashing and its importance. Learning the significance of handwashing early on helps not only reduce the number of germs spread but build healthy handwashing habits. According to the CDC, the education of handwashing it has proven to reduce respiratory illness up to 21% and absenteeism in schoolchildren with gastrointestinal illness by 29-57%.

As for primary and secondary education systems it is important to ensure bathrooms are clean and fully stocked with soap and paper towels are easily accessible. By educating students the importance of handwashing it is an affordable way to decrease illness and absenteeism.  Having a clean environment encourage students to take the initiative of thoroughly washing their hands.

Don’t forget, it is important to always wash your hands before, during, and after these activities.

  • 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 changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used 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

Nichols wants to ensure you have what it takes to fight off these illnesses going into the school year. Keep in mind that it is best to use a paper towel to dry your hands over a hand dryer as they are known to spread germs just as well as they dry your hands! Please follow steps 1-6 below in order to wash your hands effectively to keep the germs away this school year

Step 1. Wet your hands with warm or cold water
Step 2. Apply and lather soap in hand
Step 3. Rub hands together for a minimum of 20 seconds
Step 4. Rinse soap entirely off your hands
Step 5. Dry hands with a clean towel and use towel to turn off the water
Step 6.  You’re done!