IN A LATHER OVER GERMS
QUEENSLANDERS need to clean up their act after a survey found a quarter of us don’t wash our hands after going to the toilet, while 30 per cent don’t scrub up after sneezing, coughing or blowing our nose.
Next Sunday is Global Handwashing Day and, as the nation recovers from the worst flu season on record, hygiene experts warn that we can’t wash our hands of responsibility.
According to the Federal Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council, hand hygiene is one of the simplest and most effective ways to break the chain of infection.
But even when we do wash our hands, we don’t spend enough time at the basin.
The survey, commissioned by Palmolive, revealed three-quarters of Queenslanders washed their hands for less than 15 seconds.
Kate Hickey, Palmolive Clean Hands Good Health ambassador, said many people did not practise hand hygiene properly or enough due to time constraints or a lack of insight as to when, where and how they should do so.
It is recommended that individuals wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap.
Bardon mum Lou Robson said after a horror season of colds and gastro, her children – Jack, 6, and Billie, 4 – were pretty good at remembering to wash their hands.
“After a three-day bout of gastro during winter, the doctor told us gastro germs can live for a horrifying long time on the toilet flush button, the tap, light switches and door knobs,” she said.
“The kids now know washing your hands is a very good way to avoid a long night of vomiting and nausea.”
HANDS ON HEALTH: Jack Wood, 6, suds up. Picture: Jamie Hanson