Clean hands save lives

No one ever thinks of soap as a super hero but it kind of is.

Inexpensive and best friend to water, soap keeps us clean. It keeps us and those we love happy and healthy. We emphasize cleanliness in the kitchen for many reasons, but keeping it clean extends far beyond working with food.

Friday marked Global Handwashing Day – it’s a real day! Check out www.globalhandwashingday.org.

The child-centric holiday has a simple sanitary message with a big goal: Helping people stay healthy! Washing your hands can affect your life outside of your home.

Children don’t always realize the impact which they can make. That’s a funny thing because they’re also the ones most willing to change their ways. And when kids are willing to change, adults around them follow their lead. It’s this logic that inspired Global Handwashing Day organizers to focus on children. That and the fact that about half of the about 120 million children born in the developing world each year will live in households with limited access to sanitation.

This limited access – which as we mentioned previously extends far beyond the kitchen – leads to poor hygiene which can lead to sickness and often be fatal for youngsters.

Those numbers can drastically diminish by introducing soap and water into our daily habits. It’s the most inexpensive way to ensure our kids are safe.

Started in 2008 by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap, the group simply hopes to make clean hands a part of all kids’ daily lives. Doing so should greatly diminish health-related issues.

The great news is if your kids get in the habit of washing their hands, they’ll keep those soap-using habits when with their friends. The domino effect will continue with your little one’s little friend. Thankfully rumors – and habits—spread amongst little ones just like they do adults. But in this case, it’s a rumor epidemic that could lead to healthier children.

Talking about hand washing can be an interesting way to integrate other cultures into the world.

Some don’t wash their hands because water is scarce. How lucky are we that clean water is easily accessible? Worldwide one child dies every eight seconds without access to healthy water. Locally, students in San Mateo County decided to do something about it.

San Bruno youngsters, who were in fourth grade when they started this effort in 2007, started Water For Life – an effort of selling spring water with a student-designed logo. Proceeds from the bottled water are pooled with other fundraising efforts to buy water pumps to be placed in Africa. By partnering with other student efforts nationwide, the kids have helped purchase two pumps.

The good news here is anyone – soap, water and your own little one – can be a hero. First they need to be informed.

 

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