Global Handwashing Day

Global Handwashing Day Quick Facts - US

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2024 DateOctober 15, 2024
2025 DateOctober 15, 2025

Global Handwashing Day

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Global Handwashing Day History

Global Handwashing Day is designed to promote the importance of handwashing with soap as a simple, yet effective method of reducing the spread of diseases and improving overall public health. On this day, individuals, communities, and organizations unite to raise awareness about the life-saving benefits of handwashing. The primary focus is to encourage people to adopt proper hand hygiene practices, prevent the spread of infections, and ultimately, save lives.

Global Handwashing Day was first established in 2008 by the Global Handwashing Partnership. Although many Americans may be aware of the importance of handwashing, studies have shown that an alarming percentage of individuals still neglect to practice proper hand hygiene. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that handwashing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16% and diarrheal illnesses by 31%, making it crucial to promote hand hygiene awareness in America as well.

In the United States, various schools, hospitals, and organizations participate in Global Handwashing Day by organizing events and activities to help educate individuals on the importance of handwashing, including demonstrations on proper handwashing techniques and sharing educational resources. Social media campaigns and public service announcements also play a significant role in reaching a broader audience to promote hand hygiene awareness. Global Handwashing Day is observed on October 15th.

Global Handwashing Day facts

  • The theme for Global Handwashing Day in 2023 was Accelerate action together.
  • 40 percent of the world’s population, or 3 billion people, do not have a handwashing facility with water and soap at home.
  • Handwashing with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, which together are responsible for the deaths of over 3.5 million children before their fifth birthday every year. The day serves to remind us of the importance of hand hygiene.
  • According to a study by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), 97% of the time, people fail to properly wash their hands. This could lead to potentially dangerous bacteria being passed to others.
  • Proper handwashing can reduce the rates of certain respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21%, according to the CDC.
  • In a survey conducted by Bradley Corp, it was revealed that 21% of Americans claim to wash their hands less than five times a day.

Top things to do in the US for Global Handwashing Day

  • Host friendly competitions in your community to raise awareness about the importance of handwashing.
  • For some ideas go to Activities for Global Handwashing Day.
  • Take the time to learn more about the importance of handwashing and how it helps prevent the spread of diseases. Share this information with your family, friends, and social media followers.
  • Engage children in handwashing-themed crafts. They can create artwork or crafts that promote hand hygiene, such as drawing pictures of soapy hands, making handwashing posters, or designing colorful hand-shaped cutouts.
  • Design and create colorful signs or posters that promote proper handwashing techniques. Hang them in your bathroom and around your home to remind everyone of the importance of hand hygiene.

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