American Public Health Association Encourages Proper Handwashing, Offers Free Timers

As seasonal flu tightens its grip in communities across the country, public health officials are reminding everyone to routinely and properly wash their hands, which is one of the simplest, most important and effective defenses against the spread of germs and disease.

To encourage healthy habits and keep families safe this winter, the American Public Health Associations Get Ready campaign is launching a new initiative today aimed at promoting proper handwashing. Throughout the next few weeks, APHA will be providing handwashing timers that when activated play a 20-second tune reminding everyone how long it takes to thoroughly wash your hands. For a limited time, the no-cost timers and other important handwashing materials will be available on the Get Ready website.

"With flu season here and the spread of germs and illness becoming a greater threat, proper hand-washing is one of the most important and simplest steps adults and children can take to protect their health," says Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP, executive director of APHA. "The Get Ready handwashing timers are designed to teach people that its not only important to wash your hands but to follow the right techniques in doing so."