Handwashing has always been important...especially in education. I remember watching my (now 14 years old) daughter start her first day of preschool as I peeked around the corner and the first thing she did was wash her hands. Today, handwashing feels like an essential safety practice for protection from COVID-19, which is a health threat well beyond my preschool fears of the common cold. It seems simple enough to wash your hands, but many of us - including me - do not wash for the recommended amount of time (Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization). Or, time spent washing hands is inconsistent. I confess that I have whipped through singing Happy Birthday in order to finish washing as quickly as possible. Others may have a hard time managing steps in a process without a visual cue, have OCD and need a cue to stop, or be deaf...all of these things can make it very hard to properly wash hands while relying on singing a song for timing.
I am very proud of the team at Time Timer that very quickly recognized these challenges and the impact for personal health and safety during this pandemic. We will be launching the Time Timer WASH, which is an innovative visual timer that provides cues that make it easy for anyone, any age or ability level, to spend the correct amount of time and perform the steps in order, for proper handwashing. It may not seem like a big thing to you or me, but for many people among us, it is. It isn't just the independence that it can provide, it is the feeling of safety that comes with knowing that you or the people you care for have successfully washed their hands to protect themselves and those around them.
When I started using the Time Timer WASH, I realized that I wasn't washing my hands long enough previously - despite my effort to be a conscientious handwasher. When I started using it every time I washed my hands, the recommended 20 seconds of scrubbing didn't feel like such a long time anymore. Especially right now during a pandemic, what could be better than the confidence of knowing you or someone you care for has one more line of protection against COVID-19.
Make sure to wash your hands, to do it for long enough, and stay safe.