Next Friday, October 15th is Global Handwashing Day.
But before you decide to roll your mouse and click out of here, give me a hand and bear with me for a minute.
This is the third year of this worldwide initiative, which is backed by leading public health experts including the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, Unicef, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the World Bank Water and Sanitation Program, to name but a few.
That's quite a list.
And the aim of Global Handwashing Day?
Well, there's plenty to read and see on their website (linky below) but what really struck me was the following statement:
"Handwashing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year. Together, they are responsible for the majority of all child deaths. Yet, despite its lifesaving potential, handwashing with soap is seldom practiced and difficult to promote."
I know exactly what they mean. Trying to get my boys to wash their hands before they eat or after they go to the toilet can sometimes, shall we say, involve lengthy and protracted negotiations. And we've got access to hot water and soap.
Because handwashing is something we should learn from an early age, we recently launched a poster and song for pre-schools, to help get those little hands rubbing together with excitement.
And with some soap and water.
I hope my youngest will surprise me the next day he's home from creche and break into song while washing his hands. Unlikely, but I live in hope.
And next Friday, to coincide with Global Handwashing Day, we're launching a handwashing song aimed at junior and senior infants, to make this something that's fun and easy to do. Which to me as a parent, is important when there are 800 excited, sniffly boys together in school, five days a week.
Hopefully a lesson they will hand down in time.