We all know that washing hands prevents illness and the spread of infections to others, a staggering 80% of communicable diseases are spread by touch alone. As we enter cold and flu season the message of the importance of washing your hands well to prevent the spread of disease is one we feel we should share and with 15 October being National Handwashing Day, what better time to do so?!
The theme for National Handwashing Day this year is ‘Clean hands – a recipe for health’ and this focuses on the importance of washing your hands regularly when dealing with food to prevent illness and disease. According to statistics from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US agency responsible for tracking and investigating public health trends, handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrhoea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections (e.g., colds).
While warm water is more pleasant when hand washing, according to a study by researchers from Rutgers University and GOJO Industries, cold water (15 °C) is just as effective at getting rid of bacteria as using hot water (38°C). Furthermore, the NHS supports this finding and recommends that people wash their hands in either hot or cold water. But let’s face it, when it’s cold, warm water is nicer!
Is your water running hot enough?
If your water isn’t running as hot at it should be or if you have fluctuations in water temperature, there could be an issue with your boiler. The months leading up to winter, are when such issues tend to reveal themselves as we switch on our heating for the first time after the summer. This is why we like to emphasise the importance of testing your heating before it gets too cold so that if there is a problem, you can seek the help of a gas safe registered installer before the frost and snow arrives! Take a look at our guide to checking your heating and hot water is working as it should here: https://sime.co.uk/blog/time-to-get-winter-ready/
Running the heating once a month even during the summer months will alert you to any issues and prevent dust and dirt from building up. If you are not sure about something to do with your boiler, the product manuals for all of our boilers are available to download on our website: https://sime.co.uk/homeowner/service-support-downloads/.
CDC Show Me the Science – Why Was your Hands?, 17 September 2018, https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/why-handwashing.html
Ejemot RI, Ehiri JE, Meremikwu MM, Critchley JA. Hand washing for preventing diarrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;1:CD004265.
The Rutgers study, published in the June 2017 issue of the Journal of Food Protection, as published on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/news/lifestyle-and-exercise/cold-water-just-as-good-as-hot-for-handwashing/