MILWAUKEE, Jan. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Colds and the flu are yearly occurrences that Americans young and old try to avoid. According to the Centers for Disease Control, common colds are the main reason children miss school and adults miss work. And, while a cold can be severe, the flu can be life threatening since more than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year for seasonal flu-related complications.
The good news is, in the midst of cold and flu season, Americans are taking action to avoid getting sick, according to the 2016 Healthy Hand Washing Survey conducted by Bradley Corporation.
The survey found that 71% of adults always make it a point to wash their hands after handling a sick child. Hand washing with soap is smart since close contact with a sick individual is a risk factor for contracting an illness.
A majority also say they always wash up after sneezing, coughing or visiting a doctor's office. That's more good news since research has shown virus particles can travel up to 12 feet through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. And, since human influenza viruses generally can survive on surfaces for two to eight hours, doctors' offices can be rife with germs.
"This time of year, we're surrounded by family, friends and co-workers who are sick or may be getting sick. That's why it's so important to realize the first defense against illness is to remove germs and viruses from our hands by washing frequently and vigorously," says Jon Dommisse, director of global marketing and strategic development at Bradley Corp.
Bradley Corp. is a leading manufacturer of commercial plumbing fixtures, washroom accessories, restroom partitions, emergency fixtures and solid plastic lockers and has executed the Healthy Hand Washing Survey for the past eight years.
At home, the survey found that parents institute a variety of hand washing rules for their children. Nearly 90% insist young ones suds up after using the bathroom and approximately 75% require it before meals. To help combat the spread of germs, more than half have their children wash after sneezing or blowing their nose.
However, a troubling finding from the survey is the fact that 40% of Americans don't increase their hand washing during seasonal flu outbreaks. The survey specifically asked respondents about their hand washing behavior in public restrooms since germs from many different sources can be found in those locations.
"Flu viruses can be highly contagious and can be transferred to your hands by touching surfaces or things that have been contaminated," says Dommisse. "When there's an outbreak, it's essential to step up your hand washing diligence."
Unfortunately, nearly 70 percent of Americans say they've had a particularly unpleasant experience in a public restroom due to the condition of the facilities. The top complaints are: a really bad smell; toilets that are clogged or not flushed; and an overall appearance that's dirty, unkempt or old.
For businesses an unpleasant restroom experience creates negative perceptions. A majority of consumers believe a bad restroom indicates poor management, lowers their opinion of the company and shows the business doesn't care about customers.
The Healthy Hand Washing Survey queried 1,062 American adults online Dec. 10-13, 2015 about their hand washing habits in public restrooms and concerns about germs, colds and the flu. Participants were from around the country, were 18 years and older, and were fairly evenly split between men and women (47 and 53 percent).
For 95 years, Bradley Corporation has designed and manufactured commercial washfountains, and today is the industry's exclusive source for plumbing fixtures, washroom accessories, restroom partitions, emergency fixtures and solid plastic lockers. Headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Bradley serves the commercial, industrial, health care, recreation, education, and corrections markets worldwide. For more information, contact Bradley at 1-800-BRADLEY or www.bradleycorp.com.
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SOURCE Bradley Corporation