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Pandemics have been breaking out all over the world. They infect the youngest and most vulnerable of the population &ndash small children and babies. Of course, anyone with immune deficiency is prone to catch anything from severe diarrhea to dangerous infections such as as SARS. The number of infant deaths stemming from bacteria carried by unwashed hands has far outweighed the number of fatalities from air collisions.
When we take into account the fact that most of these pandemics break out in countries where bars of soap and running water are available, the statistics became evermore baffling. Some of the countries, such as the US, have a plethora of soaps &ndash liquid, scented, bar soap, antibacterial and foam dispensers. Yet surveys found that even restaurant workers often don&rsquot even rinse their hands after using the bathroom, let alone spend the time needed to wash, soap and rinse for the required 30 second minimum. After drying the hands, handling bathroom handles without a clean toilet tissue may be self defeating, since we don&rsquot know if the guest before left us some nasty little gifts. I always say &lsquobetter to be safe than sorry&rsquo and use paper towels or if the door is hands-free, open with an elbow.
Back to children and hand washing habits. As all habits, these are formed at home. In some countries, soap is locked away for bathing and children are forbidden to use it for washing their hands. In other places where soaps are readily available by the sink, parents don&rsquot set an example of hand washing, and if anything, barely rinse their own hands, and hardly ever using soap.
I believe it&rsquos all about education and information. Every parent wants their child to be the healthiest but often isn&rsquot aware of the health risks of bacteria and disease laden hands may pose. How easy the solution is &ndash soap, water, lather for 30 seconds, dry and avoid contact with contaminated area, or wash again if you have to touch your eyes mouth or nose. Or someone else&rsquos.
You&rsquoll be glad you did.
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