Monday, October 24, 2011

Instilling Healthy Hygiene Habits

How many times do we have to tell our kids to wash their hands? And, as much as we explain why it's important for them to do it, do they sometimes still try to get out of doing it?

As parents, not only do we have to continue to engage with our children on healthy habits including reminding them to wash hands regularly, as many as five times a day, but we, as their role models, have to exhibit these very same behaviors for them to follow suit.

Hygiene habits are a global issue. We all can benefit from a reminder on what to do to help keep germs at bay.

As a result, over 12,000 people in 12 countries including the United States were studied as part of the largest ever study of hygiene behavior called The Lysol® HABIT Study (Hygiene: Attitudes, Behavior, Insight and Traits).

The results of this study were recently announced and they provide valuable information showing how personality traits and good manners affect health and can help stop the spread of germs.

Fortunately, as part of my job doing public and media relations on health care topics, I have been given the opportunity to help share this important news with you so we can be armed with the knowledge and know how to take action to be healthy and raise our kids to practice healthy habits and behaviors as well to reduce exposure to germs.

Highlights from the study include:

  • If you’re conscientious, dependable, nervous and sensitive - - you may experience 10 percent fewer colds and less diarrhea than others

  • People who have good manners have better personal hygiene, and are almost two and a half times more likely to have good health

  • Tidy/orderly individuals are more hygienic than messy/chaotic people

  • Women and older people tend to be more hygienic than men

  • Younger people and homemakers display highest level of personal and household hygiene

  • Students and office workers display worst level of personal and household hygiene
Experts estimate that between 5 - 20 percent of Americans will contract the flu this year. So, understanding the determinants that drive different hygiene behaviors can help us to break the chain of infection transmission and protect our health and that of our children.

As a parent, it was interesting to learn that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 22 million schools days are lost each year due to the common cold alone.

That's a lot of sick days. And, that's a lot of us staying home from work to take care of our kids.

"Adopting good hygiene habits is a responsibility we all share. It is important for families to integrate regular hygiene practices at home, school and work throughout the year to keep germs from spreading, especially during cold and flu season," said Dr. Laura A Jana, board-certified pediatrician and award-winning parenting book author.

Therefore, as much as it seems obvious on what we need to do to maintain better hygiene habits visit the Global Hygiene Council's website
here where tips are available to help prevent the spread of germs at home, school and work.

Let’s continue to help keep our kids healthy and guide them to establish proper health habits for them to grow with.

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