11/16/11

WASH YOUR HANDS! The Miracle of Soap & Water


Each new flu season we seem to be bombarded with endless suggestions on ways to keep the bugs at bay: vitamins, herbs, sanitizers, vaccines–you name it. But the most effective way to prevent illness (which usually escapes us because it is so simple) is to wash your hands! 

sneezing man

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand washing is the best way to prevent infection and illness. It’s easy, cheap, it doesn’t hurt the environment, and there is no question about negative implications for our own health. It’s a definite win-win.

The CDC recommends that we wash our hands before and after any activity, especially preparing or handling uncooked food and after using the bathroom. It’s important to point out that changing diapers, coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose into a tissue are also times of necessary hand-washing. Most people don’t realize they are touching their running nose or picking the sock lint out of their toes and moments later they’re in the kitchen making You a snack to eat!

In my opinion, hand washing should be taught at an early age so this practice can become a regular routine in adult life. To do so, as soon as you or your children come home from school, work, errands or playing, the first thing to be done upon entering the house is a beeline to the bathroom! Please teach by example!

October 15 was Global Hand Washing Day – it’s serious when a special day has to be designated for something as simple as good hygiene; it’s a serious matter because Clean Hands Save Lives!

A study published by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine indicates that less than one-third of men and two-thirds of women wash their hands with soap after using the restroom! DISGUSTING! Researchers studied the behavior of a quarter of a million people using restrooms in Britain and used sensors to monitor soap use.   dirty_hands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand washing is the simplest and cheapest way to avoid getting sick, prevent the common cold, diarrheal diseases, respiratory infections, MRSA, food-borne illnesses such as salmonella and E. coli, and of course, the swine flu (H1N1), among other things.

Believe it or not, there’s a right way and a wrong way to wash your hands. The wrong way would be to give your hands an obligatory rinse with water because no one is looking. The right way, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is:

 Effective Hand Washing Procedure:

    * Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
    * Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces, including wrists & under the nails.
    * Continue rubbing hands for 15-20 seconds. (for children, have them sing the Happy Birthday song)
    * Rinse hands well under running water.
    * Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off faucet.
    * Always use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

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If soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands. Alcohol-based hand rubs significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and are fast-acting. When using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:

    * Apply product to the palm of one hand.
    * Rub hands together.
    * Rub the product over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry.

 IF – THEN Statements:

~If we wash frequently in the home, then we can prevent germs from spreading to other family members (especially babies & elders).

~If doctors, clinics and hospitals frequently wash & sanitize (hands & equipment), then they prevent deadly infections from spreading among co-workers and patients.

~If restaurants & fast food workers wash frequently & wear gloves, then they minimize the contact of their own germs (or spoiled /raw foods) from contaminating food upon preparation.

We’ve known about the benefits of hand washing for a long time, but people still don’t wash as often as they should. Not understanding the need for washing regularly, poses significant problems in other areas of life, i.e. the recent epidemic of bed bugs in this country!

bedbugs

 

 

 

 

 

Because, if hand washing doesn’t seem important to some people, chances are these same people live in a very dirty environment. People who are not bothered to keep a clean & healthy home for themselves or their families, are usually the main reason why the spreading of germs, bugs and parasites on the rise!

There’s a direct correlation between being clean and being healthy. Unfortunately this notion doesn’t come natural for many people. Education at school can only go as far as to make a scientific point to the merits of keeping clean habits, but it is in the home where this lesson must take root!  Here is a partial list of what constitutes proper grooming, cleanliness and etiquette. {excerpt from How To Avoid Common Hygiene Mistakes}

HEAD & FACE

  1. 1
    Brush your Teeth. Brush Your Teeth 2-3 times daily, rinse out your mouth and spit. With the remaining toothpaste in your mouth and brush, brush your tongue. Place brush on the back of your tongue and scrape forward. This will significantly reduce bad breath. Flossing also reduces oral bacteria and removes solid food particles to freshen breath.
  2. 2
    Take care of your face. Wash your face every morning and night. If your face is very oily, do it 3 times a day. Make sure to pay attention to the sleep that gathers in the corners of the eyes.
  3. 3
    Cover your mouth or turn away from people when you cough and sneeze. It's not just manners, as you could spread illness even when healthy. It is now being taught to cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow/sleeve. This keeps germs from your hands which might contaminate others before you get an opportunity to wash.
  4. 4
    Wash your Hair. Make sure you wash your hair on a regular basis. You may not realize it but your hair can hold odors that others find offensive. Also brush your hair daily, especially when you are going to be in public.

 

BODY

  1. 1
    Shower daily. Shower or bathe daily. Many people fail to do this and are incorrect when assuming they do not smell. What happens is your nose gets fatigued thereby, not being able to smell your odor. This effect occurs with car air fresheners as well. You won't smell it after a time, while others will smell it right away.
  2. 2
    Wear deodorant. It doesn't matter if you think you don't smell or barely sweat. Just buy deodorant and use it. The issue mentioned above applies here too. You may stink of sour or musky sweat and not realize it. It's better to be safe than sorry, as it's cheap and convenient to apply. At worst, you go from smelling like nothing to smelling lightly of deodorant. At best, you go from driving people away to smelling better.
  3. 3
    Do not over-apply perfume or cologne. Many people are allergic to perfumes and you will, unknowingly, cause a reaction. Plus, there is no reason for people to "smell you coming" or smell you once you've left the room. Dab a little on your wrists or neck for a subtle smell.
  4. 4
    Wash your hands after using the bathroom, before eating and after possible contamination. Whenever possible, wash your hands and use a towel to dry them. When washing hands it is recommended that you use soap, and lather the soap in warm water for at least 15 seconds. You can sing Happy Birthday in this amount of time.
  5. 5
    Clip your nails. Clip and clean your fingernails and toenails at least once every week or once every two weeks, it depends on how much your nails grow.
  6. 6
    Wash and change your clothes. You don't have to throw clothes into the wash after one usage (with the exception of underwear). But know when to throw clothes into the wash. If you stain your clothes or sweat during the day, then wash them. Dirty clothes are another source of bad odor.
  7. 7
    Practice good bathroom hygiene. Always wipe yourself clean and wash your hands using plenty of soap and warm water.

Personally, I’m appalled that this list has to exist in the first place! But I imagine people need to get this information one way or another. It is important to remember that we don’t need to be rich or have fancy clothes to make ourselves clean and presentable. Self-worth & self-respect is above all that! Let’s not give reason to others to frown at us with disdain, avoid us in disgust, or treat us with dread! Being clean is a social responsibility and we ought to do our best not only for our sake but for the safety of everyone else around us.

Cleaning Agents for Disinfecting commonly used items:

1. Clorox Liquid – Use 1/2 cup of liquid Clorox in a bucket of warm water to soak children’s plastic toys.  1 cup of liquid Clorox in toilet bowl for 1/2 hour. Half cup Clorox in sheets & towels during wash cycle to kill bacteria & parasites.

2. Redi Wipes - Use wipes to clean countertops in kitchen, faucets & toilet seats. Use wipes to clean up body fluids (urine, diarrhea, vomit, or blood). Use to clean shopping carts, locker rooms, exercise equipment and anything used by the public.

3. Lysol – Use Lysol spray on telephones & door knobs to rid germs. Spray Lysol in shoes to rid odor & athlete’s foot. Use as a room deodorizer to kill 99.9% of airborne bacteria & viruses, pet odor, and cigarette smoke. Spray in closets, baseboards, bed frames to eliminate mold & mildew.

4. Purell – Use liquid sanitizer on hands when soap & water is not available. Use wipes to clean shopping carts, public phones & door handles. Use liquid Purell even when hands are not visibly dirty, especially after visiting public places, restrooms, gas stations, supermarkets, schools, hospitals, movie theaters, shopping mall, etc.

*kills & prevents: HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Avian Flu, Swine Flu, Listeria, E.Coli, Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Herpes Simplex 1 & 2, Rhinovirus, Rotavirus, Streptococcus, Mold, Mildew, Fungus, Hong Kong flu, H1N1 flu, and much more.

MYTHRegular disinfecting or sanitizing makes bacteria resistant and more aggressive to future eradication!

FALSE - Laboratory testing has never shown any evidence that organisms adapt and become immune to the active ingredients in antimicrobial products. Disinfectant products are used to prevent the spread of infectious organisms such as viruses and bacteria that can cause illness and disease. Disinfectants and sanitizers are used to kill disease carrying organisms before they become a problem.

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It Does The Body Good!

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