It’s Public – Wash Your Hands (a rant)

Frequently on Tuesday nights I have dinner with a friend. We laugh, we talk, and this can (and often does) go on for hours! Last night was just such an occasion! It was a great time with an amazing friend! Nevertheless, as you might imagine after sitting in a restaurant for quite sometime, I needed to use the facilities. First let me say, I HATE PUBLIC RESTROOMS (there is nothing restful about them).  Often when I am forced to avail myself of these microcosms of germs and annoying people, I find at least one patron who DOESN’T WASH THEIR HANDS!

How does anyone in this day and age of information not wash up after using a public restroom?

Which takes me to my topic for today – Germs can be contracted everywhere and can cause serious damage to one’s health, especially when the proper hygiene practices are not maintained. Just ask the CDC (Center for Disease Control) “Handwashing is easy to do and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness in all settings—from your home and workplace to child care facilities and hospitals. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.”

photo via the CDC

Here are a few tips (yes, your momma should have taught you this)

Always wash your hands:

* After using the toilet
* After changing a diaper — wash the diaper-wearer’s hands, too
* After touching animals or animal waste
* Before and after preparing food, especially before and immediately after handling raw meat, poultry or fish
* Before eating
* After blowing your nose
* After coughing or sneezing into your hands
* Before and after treating wounds or cuts
* Before and after touching a sick or injured person
* After handling garbage
* Before inserting or removing contact lenses
* When using public restrooms, such as those in airports, train stations, bus stations and restaurants

How to wash your hands: ( 9 steps)

1. Turn the tap on and evenly spread the water on your hands..

2. Use warm water, not cold or hot, to wash your hands. It might take some testing to get a good temperature. If heated water is not available, use cold water. It may be somewhat less effective or comfortable than washing in warm water, but it is much better than nothing.

3. Apply soap. Use soap. Any type of soap will work, (although you know I recommend Glynne’s Soaps)  but if it helps you wash your hands more consistently to have soap that is a fun shape or color, or a pleasant fragrance, go for it.

4.  The soap does not have to be antibacterial to do a good job. Soap works by removing germs and soil rather than by killing germs. Scientists question whether antibacterial soaps do any better at preventing germs and disease than regular soaps, and there is some concern that widespread use of antibacterial soaps may breed bacteria that are resistant to those antibacterial agents. Antibacterial soaps may also dry the skin more than ordinary soaps.

5. Lather up, and be thorough. Work up a lather on both sides of your hands, in between your fingers, and your wrists. Remember to wash around and under your fingernails.

6. Wash your hands for about 15-20 seconds, around the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday”. Be sure and rub your hands vigorously. Don’t just rinse off the soap right away. Give it time to do its job and allow time to get soap everywhere it should be.

7. Rinse your hands thoroughly under running water with your hands pointed downward but not touching the sink. This removes both the soap and the soil.

8. Use the towel to turn off the faucet, particularly in a public bathroom. If the faucet turns itself off on a spring or a photocell, let it. If not, use a paper towel, or use your elbow or forearm.

9. Dry your hands with a clean towel. Although they are not as good for the environment, paper towels are more sanitary for drying your hands than cloth towels. If you use cloth towels at home, make sure to hang it so it dries and launder them regularly.

Stop spreading colds, flu and other germs!  WASH YOUR HANDS!!

About Gayle

Gayle is a Social Media Enthusiast and Consultant with Biz Buzz Social Media Marketing; co-owner of Glynne's Soaps; a dalmatian rescuer; genealogist and member of the Daughters of the Revolution (DAR) and of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC); a Cubs Fanatic; hopeful bagpiper; purveyor of positive; and a curious seeker of life.
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