It is estimated that one in three Americans do not wash their hands after going to the restroom.

Think about how many handshakes are exchanged daily. When you look at it that way, the amount of germs constantly finding a home on our hands is unfathomable.

Washing your hands more regularly can help reduce your risk of contracting an infectious disease and save you the cost of treatment. According to the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID), Americans spend over $950 billion a year on direct medical costs.

As your kids return to school in August, it is especially important to encourage them to wash their hands regularly. Otherwise, hands can become a welcoming doorway for germs into your home.

The NCID recommends these tips for washing.

How do I properly wash?

  • First wet your hands and apply liquid or clean bar soap.
  • Place the bar soap on a rack and allow it to drain. 
  • Next rub your hands vigorously together and scrub all surfaces.
  • Continue for 10 to 15 seconds or about the length of a little tune. The combination of the soap with the scrubbing action is what helps dislodge and remove germs.
  • Rinse well and dry your hands.

When should I wash?

  • Before, during, and after you prepare food.
  • Before you eat, and after you use the bathroom.
  • After handling animals or animal waste.
  • When your hands are dirty.
  • More frequently when someone in your home is sick.