Personal hygiene begins and ends with our hands. And though we’re taught as youngsters to wash our hands before dinner, it’s important to remember that germs don’t care what time of day it is. Clean hands prevent sickness. So it’s especially important to learn the basics about hand hygiene so that you, too, can become a champion hand washer! Let’s examine some handy (see what we did there?) tips and info in honor of National Handwashing Awareness Week, which takes place each year during the first week of December.

5 Super Clean Facts About Hand Hygiene

  1. Handwashing equals happiness

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, handwashing can prevent 1 in 3 diarrhea-related illnesses and 1 in 5 infections, including the flu.

  2. Beware the twin killers for kids

    About 1.4 million children under age 5 die from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia — the two most deadly afflictions for children worldwide.

  3. The dirty secret of public restrooms

    The CDC also reports that only 31 percent of men and 65 percent of women washed their hands after using a public restroom.

  4. Handwash your way to health

    Using antibiotics creates antibiotic resistance. Handwashing prevents many sicknesses, so people need less antibiotics. Therefore, less antibiotic resistance.

  5. Sneezes are mini hurricanes

    A typical human sneeze exits the body at about 200 miles per hour and emits around 40,000 droplets into the air.