Would you eat food from a toilet seat? Nope! Why not? Because not only is it disgusting, it can lead to all sorts of diseases.
When germs from our poop get on our hands, we’re in trouble. Even worse, if we don’t wash our hands then germs can go from our hands, onto the food we’re going to eat, into our mouths, into our systems and cause all sorts of havoc.
That’s why today we are celebrating one of the world’s cheapest and most effective health interventions: handwashing. When kids wash their hands with soap before they eat and after they go to the toilet, they prevent the spread of deadly diseases.
Here are five facts to show you just how powerful the simple act of handwashing can be:
- 1 gram of poop contains almost 100 billion bacteria.
- When kids wash their hands with soap after going to the toilet or before eating, they reduce their risk of getting diarrhoea by around 40%
- Every day, over 800 children die from diarrhea linked to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene.
- Only around 1 in 5 people globally wash their hands after going to the toilet
- Handwashing is only effective if it is practiced consistently. In other words, it must be a habit.
Habits aren’t formed in just one day, but Global Handwashing Day on 15 October is a chance to create and reinforce handwashing behavior.
Join UNICEF in celebrating the day by sharing key messages, photographs and facts using the hashtag #GlobalHandwashingDay.