The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - MICHELLE COLLINS

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

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