The Underrated Importance of Clean Hands

As a parent, it’s been a constant battle to get my kids to wash their hands–whether that’s before eating, after going to the bathroom, sneezing, petting an animal, or for any other reason. And as a human being, I’m constantly restraining myself from pointing out to non-family members–especially other adults–that they need to wash their hands (especially after using the bathroom).

Why am I so obsessed?

Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), washing your hands is the most effective way of preventing the spread of disease. Multiple studies have found that unwashed hands are directly responsible for well over half of outbreaks of foodborne illness (including food poisoning and salmonella) and are major contributors to spreading the flu, pneumonia, and diarrhea. (The CDC estimates that if we all washed our hands properly, we’d reduce the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 31 percent and the number of respiratory infections in our communities by 16-21 percent.) Unwashed hands can also spread hepatitis A, strep throat, some STDs, and a number of other nasty diseases.

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Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.
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