Oct. 15 is Global Hand Washing Day
(Centers for Disease Control Press Release)
Global Handwashing Day is a way to support a global and local culture of hand washing with soap, shine a spotlight on the state of hand washing in each country, and raise awareness about the benefits of hand washing with soap.1 Since 2008, Global Hand Washing Day has been celebrated annually on October 15 worldwide. The Global Public-Private Partnership for Hand washing with Soap founded Global Hand washing Day and encourages school children, teachers, and families to get involved.
Hand Washing Saves Lives
Although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Washing hands with soap removes germs much more effectively.5
- Millions of children5 under the age of 5 years die from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the world.2
- Hand washing is not only simple and inexpensive, but remarkably, handwashing with soap can dramatically cut the number of young children who get sick.
- Hand washing with soap could prevent about 1 out of every 3 episodes of diarrheal illnesses3 and almost 1 out of 6 episodes of respiratory infection like pneumonia.4
- Guinness Book of World Records attempt for the largest number of people washing their hands at the same time
- Golden Poo video awards in the UK
- Handwashing lessons, events, and materials for thousands of students across Georgia, where CDC is based
You Can Celebrate Global Hand Washing Day in Many Ways
- Organize or participate in a Global Hand Washing Day event in your school or community
- Celebrate virtually on Twitter and Facebook. Look for and use the hashtag #iwashmyhands
- Play the World Wash Up game
- Make sure you and your family know when and how to wash your hands properly
- Liu L, Johnson HL, Cousens S, Perin J, Scott S, Lawn JE, Rudan I, Campbell H, Cibulskis R, Li M, Mathers C, Black RE; Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group of WHO and UNICEF. Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality: an updated systematic analysis for 2010 with time trends since 2000. Lancet. 2012 Jun 9;379(9832):2151-61.
- Ejemot RI, Ehiri JE, Meremikwu MM, Critchley JA. Hand washing for preventing diarrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jan 23;(1):CD004265.
- Rabie T and Curtis V. Handwashing and risk of respiratory infections: a quantitative systematic review. Trop Med Int Health. 2006 Mar;11(3):258-67.
- Burton M, Cobb E, Donachie P, Judah G, Curtis V, Schmidt WP. The effect of handwashing with water or soap on bacterial contamination of hands. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 Jan;8(1):97-104.
Global Hand Washing Day
CDC’s Hand Washing Information & Resources
- Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
- Water-related Hygiene
- Global Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
- Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings
- Hand Hygiene to Help Prevent Flu
- Hand Hygiene During an Emergency
- Hand Hygiene Aboard Ships
CDC Handwashing Partnerships