When you are attending a large event such as a wedding, festival, or block party, the last thing on your mind is germs. However, when attending these events, proper hygiene is even more important than ever.
Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of many disease-causing germs.
Simply put, washing your hands saves lives.
We know that sounds dramatic, but good hygiene practices can prevent diarrheal illnesses by up to 40 percent and respiratory illnesses up to 21 percent. Every year, 1.8 million children under five years of age die from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
How are germs spread?
Germs—viruses and bacteria—can be spread in multiple ways:
- Through the air when you sneeze or cough
- In bodily fluids such as saliva, blood, or sweat
- Via direct contact with another person (like when you shake hands)
- Through contact with a surface that has germs on it
- In raw foods while preparing a meal
When you touch your face, you are transferring these germs to your mucous membranes—your eyes, nose, and mouth—allowing them a chance to make you sick. Additionally, you can carry these germs for hours, transferring them to other surfaces and people with every touch.
When you are at an event with large amounts of people, the chances of picking up and spreading these pathogens increases exponentially.
How effective is washing your hands in preventing illness?
Hands down, appropriate handwashing practices is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of disease.
A study by Harvard found that 30 seconds of handwashing reduced the bacterial count on health care workers’ hands by 58 percent. Additionally, in a two-year study of Naval recruits found that a “simple soap and water handwashing campaign reduced clinic visits for respiratory infections” by 45 percent.
Despite a general belief that antibacterial soap is superior, plain soap and lukewarm tap water will do the job. Washing with soap does not kill germs. It makes your skin slippery, allowing them to slide off and be washed away.
How effective is hand sanitizer at killing germs?
Hand sanitizers can be more effective at preventing certain diseases than washing your hands if used correctly. It is important to note, however, that sanitizers do not kill all types of germs. If you can choose between soap and hand sanitizer, washing your hands is preferred.
Your sanitizer should contain at least 60 percent alcohol, although some products can contain up to 95 percent.
When you use a cleaner like hand sanitizer, make sure you are using enough to cover all surfaces of your hands. Rub them together, spreading them between your fingers and up to your wrists until your hands are dry. This should take 15 – 25 seconds. If it takes longer, you have used too much product.
Ace, the premier portable toilet rental company in the Tri-City area, offers both handwashing stations as well as hand sanitizer options with their toilet rentals. When you are hosting a wedding, work event, or other large gathering, consider adding these sanitary units to your rental. Each unit comes pre-filled and offers a convenient way for your guests to maintain good hand hygiene. Call us at (509) 546-0631 or contact us to request a quote or for more information.