Health & Beauty – Washing Your Hands, The New Vaccine

National Handwashing Awareness Week is here and will continue through Dec. 12 and health officials in Central Florida want to highlight the significance of proper hand hygiene.

“Handwashing is the New Vaccine,” is the theme for the week sponsored by Henry the Hand and the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole). You can help protect yourself against all respiratory and many gastro-intestinal infections, health officials with the department said.

Officials say handwashing is like a “do-it-yourself” vaccine – it involves five simple and effective steps: Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry.

Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry. This will reduce the spread of diarrhea and respiratory illness so you can stay healthy, officials say. (It’s one  of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to others.)

“Handwashing and sanitation has saved more lives than medical research and is one of the top ten achievements in public health history, said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Office for DOH-Seminole. “Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.”

Here’s a good question that the department answers for the general public:

When should you wash your hands?

  • Before, during and after preparing food;
  • Before eating food;
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick;
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound;
  • After using the toilet;
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet;
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste;
  • After handling pet food or pet treats; and
  • After touching garbage.

Let’s go! Give your family a quiz on this and let’s stay healthy!

For more information about handwashing, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at Also: DOH-Seminole’s website, 

Source: Florida Department of Health – Seminole County

© Orlando Community News, 2015