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Dirty Little Secrets

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A study conducted in six US airports found that only 26 percent of men and 17 percent of women actually wash their hands after using a public toilet. And a recent survey also found that only 24 percent of men and 39 percent of women always wash their hands after they cough or sneeze.

Experts advise washing your hands:?

1.? After preparing food

2.? Before eating

3.? After changing diapers

4.? After using the toilet

5.? After sneezing

6.? After coughing or blowing your nose

7.? After touching an animal

8.? After touching garbage.

Studies show that hand washing lowers staph bacteria by nearly 50% for those without rings, but only 29% among ring wearers.? So remember to remove your rings before washing your hands.

Some other tips:

  • Avoid ?antibacterial? products, they aren’t any better than regular soap, and can make bacteria resistant to the antimicrobial ingredient.
  • Lather up! Then rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Time yourself by reciting the alphabet as you scrub.
  • Wash all surfaces of both hands: typically, right handed people don?t wash their right hand as carefully as the left, and visa versa.
  • Fingernails and fingertips typically harbor the most microorganisms.
  • Rinse thoroughly under running water to sweep dirt and germs down the drain and dry your hands?well. Damp hands contain up to 68,000 microbes after washing compared to just 140 with dry hands. Vigorous?drying with a clean towel?can rub away any?remaining microorganisms,
  • Plain soap and water is the best.? Hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol do ok, but ?don?t eliminate all types of germs.

A Specialty Care Services Home Care Nurse?can?remind?their?patients to wash their hands, but the whole family?must practice good? habits to protect them from sickness caused by poor hygiene.

 

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