With Global Handwashing Day 2016 having passed this week (15th October) and to highlight the importance of hand hygiene to Irish adults and children, a recent survey by hygiene expert, Initial, in Ireland, it found that just 44% of men wash their hands correctly in comparison to 60% of women after going to the toilet. Washing hands correctly with soap can significantly reduce the risk of spreading germs and bacteria.

The survey also showed that 30% of people surveyed don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet, with more than 50% not using soap, and 60% spend less than 10 seconds washing their hands.

Previous Initial research shows that a person has an average 200 million bacteria per square inch on each hand, therefore good handwashing, using effective hand drying products, help to minimise the risk of infection. Initial strongly advises the public to wash their hands with soap and warm water for approximately 30 seconds.

While earlier in 2016, Initial’s Hygiene Angels team visited a number of schools across the country to educate school children about bacteria that live on their hands and how to wash hands properly to avoid getting sick. The data shows than almost the 63% of boys and 55% of girls swabbed had acceptable level of hand hygiene.

The spread of bacteria can be reduced by following these simple five steps: Wet hands under warm water and add plenty of soap; Take time to wash hands thoroughly for around 30 seconds; Rinse hands to remove the soap using running water; Make sure hands are thoroughly dried; Use hand sanitizer for added protection.