Handwashing – Persuasive

1 January 2017

Think about all of the things that you touched today — from the telephone to the toilet. Maybe you blew your nose in a tissue, opened a door, typed on a public keyboard, or handled money. – Whatever you did today, you came into contact with other people’s germs. It’s really easy for a germ on your hand to end up in your mouth. Especially when the average person touches their face approximately 600 times a day or 3-5 times a minute, according to the Austin Urgent Care website. o Each new flu season we seem to be bombarded with endless suggestions on ways to keep sickness at bay: vitamins, herbs, sanitizers, vaccines–you name it.

But the most effective way to prevent illness (which usually escapes us because it is so simple) is to wash your hands! o According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand washing is the best way to prevent infection and illness. It’s easy, cheap, it doesn’t hurt the environment, and there is no question about negative implications for our own health. It’s a definite win-win situation. – But that knowledge doesn’t have everyone running to a sink to clean their hands. Bacteria have exploding populations and can reproduce every 20 minutes. There are so many bacteria that you have more of them on your body right now than there are people in the United States. o Think again of all the things your hands have come into contact with today. Gross right? Most of the bacteria on your hands can be removed by simply washing them. (Slide) ? Activity (Slide) • Home (Slide) • Workplace (Slide) • ATM: o A typical ATM has been proven to have more. The key difference in this situation is the number of clean versus dirty hands that touch each of these items (Slide) • Airplane: this can be attributed in part to the frequency with which each are cleaned on a daily basis • Washing your hands regularly is something we have all been conditioned to do since we were children. But according to the New York Times only about 82% of people actually wash their hands, and most probably aren’t washing them properly. According to the US Centers for Disease Control proper and frequent hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection. • Live Science. om gives some statistics regarding hand-washing practices of surveyed Americans: (Slide) o 83% wash their hand after using their home restroom. o 73% washed hands after changing a diaper o 43% washed their hands after petting a cat or dog o 21% washed their hands after handling money o 32% washed their hands after coughing or sneezing ? But as are well aware people tend to lie, especially about embarrassing things such as their personal hygiene practices.

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So these statistics are not necessarily 100% accurate. • The Center for Disease Control recommends that we wash our hands before and after any activity, especially preparing or handling uncooked food and after using the bathroom. o I am going to share 2 studies with you done regarding hand-washing practices. These two studies really show the need for everyone in this room to become hand-washing advocates. – The Lakeland Ledger, a newspaper in Florida, speaks about a study done by the American Society for Microbiology and the Soap and Detergent Association.

They sent observers into public restrooms to observe hand washing practices at different venues around the country. They observed 6,076 adults. The venues varied from museums to aquariums to professional sporting events. o They found that 66% of 3,065 men they observed washed their hands. o 88% of 3,011 women also washed their hands. – The final experiment I would like to share was done by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. This should really drive in the need for better hand-washing practices. o The experiment was done to show how much bacteria was on a person’s hand before and after washing them.

They transferred bacteria by touching agar plates (agar is a nutrient that causes bacteria to grow faster). They were then left to incubate for 24 hours. (Slide) ? Unwashed fingers • Dirty unwashed fingers contained so much bacteria the areas they touched were mass colonies (Slide) ? 20 Seconds cold water • Removed particles of dirt and some bacteria, but millions were left. Not a very effective way of cleaning them. (Slide) ? 20 soap and water • Reduced number but wasn’t enough to kill them all (Slide) ? 40 seconds soap and water Rather effective but still doesn’t get them all. The study suggests a full minute is best but the important thing is to reduce the number of bacteria on your hands. So 40 seconds is adequate. (Slide) ? Hand sanitizer • No bacteria grew once a sanitizing solution was used. (Slide) III

This is exactly why I have provided the information I have today. o The University of Georgia shows that 40 seconds – 40 seconds (to a minute) is all it takes to have clean hands. But hot water alone does not kill germs. According to the FDA hot water that is comfortable enough for washing hands is not hot enough to kill bacteria. The body oils on your hands hold soils and bacteria, so hot or warm soapy water is more effective than cold, soapy water at removing those oily soils and bacteria in them. IV. VISUALIZATION: – Now close your eyes and imagine a world where dirty hands don’t exist.

There would be no more missed school days, no more make-up exams because you’re slowly dying in your bed, no more excessive coughing and sneezing in cramped up classrooms, minimal cold and flu outbreaks everywhere and most importantly so much money will be saved because we don’t have to blow it all on doctor’s visits and Nyquil. Clean hands are possible in a world so full of dirt. (Slide) V. CALL TO ACTION: – All I’m asking is for you to wash your hands. Take 40 seconds (to a minute) out of your life and clean them. o Think about all of the information I have provided.

I urge you to take action and wash your hands, and also urge others to follow in your example and wash their hands too. Call people out when leaving the restroom and not washing, because your going to have to touch that door after them. ? Remember everything you touch is filthy and full of bacteria and germs from others who are not washing their hands. But we can make a difference. Because washing your hands can prevent you and others around you from becoming ill. Please, wash your hands. Thank you. References (2004). Germ survey summary of findings.

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