Step ‘n Wash, Inc.’s Sales Spike over Fear of Ebola and Enterovirus

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Companies Make Hand Washing for Kids Easy

Amid concerns of the spread of Ebola and Enterovirus, and with flu season right around the corner, Step ‘n Wash, Inc., creators of the first and only self-retracting step that helps kids safely and easily was their hands in public restrooms, announced today their sales have increased 50 percent in the last 30 days.

Outbreaks of Enterovirus D68 persist, with more than 800 people in 46 states who have been affected. Most recently, a 5-month-old baby in Arizona died suddenly from the virus.

Infants and children have an increased risk for infection because they haven’t been exposed to the viruses and their immune systems are immature. Schools and daycare centers are breeding grounds for germs as well because kids sneeze and cough on each other, put toys in their mouths, and don’t wash their hands frequently.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the most effective way to prevent the spread of infection is with proper hand washing. Plus, studies show that washing with old fashioned soap and water is far better than using hand sanitizer.

Yet most businesses, including kid-friendly restaurants where food-borne illness is also a concern, haven’t designed their restrooms to accommodate children. Between sinks that are too high and soap and paper towel dispensers that are completely out of reach, it’s nearly impossible for children to properly wash their hands.

“Parents are calling us to find out why Step ‘n Wash is not in the businesses they frequent,” according to Joi Sumpton, founder of Step ‘n Wash, Inc. “They’re more concerned than ever before about keeping their kids healthy especially when they’re away from home,” she said.

In the past few weeks alone, Step ‘n Wash has fulfilled orders from the Utah State Capitol building, Buffalo Niagara
International Airport, University Healthcare Systems in Utah, Life Time Fitness, Whole Foods Markets, Horizon Group Properties Outlet Centers as well as various school districts, libraries and children’s museums.

Hand washing for people of short-stature is equally as complicated and perhaps even more important. Texas mom Chrissy Bernal’s daughter Sienna has primordial dwarfism and is more susceptible to pneumonia if she were to get sick with a virus like EV-D68.

After discovering Step ‘n Wash at the Houston Zoo, Bernal started the Equal Restroom Access for Little People movement and petitioned several businesses to install the step in their restrooms too. “It allows her independence,” according to Bernal. “I don’t have to pick her up or worry that she won’t wash her hands at all.”

What used to be a solution that simply made hand washing hassle-free for kids and their parents, has now become a vital tool to protect kids from potentially deadly germs. “Just a few months ago, businesses were purchasing our product to attract and retain customers and reduce their liability,” Sumpton said. “Those are still their concerns, but now they’re realizing what their customers really care about is keeping their families healthy—and they’re happy to make it their priority too.”

About Step ‘n Wash, Inc.
Developed in 2005 by mom and entrepreneur Joi Sumpton, Step ‘n Wash, Inc., is the first and only self-retracting step that enables children and people of short stature to safely reach the sink so they can wash their hands in public restrooms. Step ‘n Wash has helped over 250 million people safely wash their hands. They have also helped thousands of businesses in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe reduce their liability and cleaning and maintenance costs while dramatically increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Today, Step ‘n Wash can be found in the restrooms of airports, shopping malls, hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores, amusement parks and movie theaters. Some of the businesses that have installed Step ‘n Wash include Whole Foods Markets, Wegmans, Tanger Outlets, Universal Studios, Costco, Simon Malls and A.I. Dupont Hospitals for Children.

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Julie Revelant

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