Sunday 21 July 2019

Study reveals that Irish men are the biggest offenders when it comes to hand-washing

Only 47pc of Irish men value handwashing as an important practice compared to 63pc of Irish women.

Hum the
Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.

Patricia Murphy

It may be a lesson drilled into us since childhood but it turns out that over two thirds of Irish people are very lax when it comes to washing their hands.

New research revealed that 67pc of the nation don’t wash their hands for longer than 15 seconds, the minimum amount of time needed to kill common germs.

Irish women are more diligent when it comes to scrubbing up with 73pc washing their hands more than seven times per day compared to just 51pc of Irish men.

Only 47pc of Irish men value hand-washing as an important practice compared to 63pc of Irish women.

The study, conducted by Bons Secours Health System, revealed that washing hands for the length of time it takes to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice over dramatically reduces the likelihood of illnesses such as diarrhoea and common colds.

Only 4pc of Irish people admitted to not washing their hands after using the toilet but over 60pc do not wash their hands after sneezing, coughing or travelling on public transport.

Dangerously, 18pc do not lather up before handling food and 36pc do not always wash their hands when visiting a hospital.

 “Washing your hands with soap is still the most effective way to avoid the transmission of harmful germs and prevent health care-associated infection,’ said Helene McDermott, Consultant Microbiologist at Bon Secours Dublin

“We hope that this research and our awareness campaign will help to remind people of the importance of good hand hygiene, particularly in the context of visiting a hospital,” she finished.

Top tips for effective hand washing

• Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

• Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

• Scrub your hands. Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.

• Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

• Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

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