Saving Lives by Teaching Better Hygiene

Global Handwashing Day: Saving Lives by Teaching Better Hygiene

It's clinically proven that washing hands with soap and water provides protection against illness caused by harmful germs and bacteria. In fact, effective handwashing, done regularly (and correctly) with soap and water has been shown to save 4 million children a year from dying before their 5th birthday. How? By washing away germs that can cause preventable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria.At Safeguard, our mission is to help families around the world live life hands on, by protecting children with the right soap and proper handwashing practices. Through practical initiatives like Global Handwashing Day, we are helping millions of children just like yours every year by teaching them one simple message: Clean hands save lives.

What Is Global Handwashing Day?

Every year, on October 15, 200 million people in more than 100 countries come together to celebrate Global Handwashing Day. As an official cofounder, Safeguard helps organize Global Handwashing Day events around the world. These events educate millions of people about the health benefits of washing their hands with soap and water.

The events all focus on three core principles:

  • Support a global culture of handwashing with soap and water.
  • Evaluate the handwashing aptitude in every country to help measure improvement.
  • Raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap.

How You Can Celebrate Global Handwashing Day, Every Day

You can observe Global Handwashing Day in your own home-and encourage good hygiene habits in your kids all year round.Try one-or all-of these fun activities to help teach your kids about how germs are spread, and when and how to wash their hands.

The Glitter-Finger Germ Test

This is a messy, but highly effective way to show children how germs are spread. First, get two different colors of glitter. Then, sprinkle the first color on one child's hand, and the other color on the second child's hand. Have them shake hands with each other. Ask them to examine their hands to see the amount of the other glitter color they have on their hands just from shaking their friend's hand.This not only shows how easily germs can be spread, but it also gives you an opportunity to teach your children the proper handwashing steps.

Create Handwashing Chart

A handwashing chart is a great way to remind children to wash their hands throughout the day. Create a chart with columns for each different hand-washing occasion, such as before eating, after sneezing, after using the toilet, etc. Get fun, unique stickers that your children can earn and stick on when they remember to wash their hands without being reminded.

Sing It Out

It takes 20 seconds to wash your hands properly with soap and water-that's as long as it takes to say (or sing) the ABCs. Teach your kids to sing while they wash so they learn to wash their hands for the right length of time.

Learn more about the hand-washing basics.