Saturday, November 28, 2009

How to Prevent the Big Bad Flu

Learn to cough and sneeze correctly
Currently, the flu is passed on person to person via droplets spewed into the air by coughing, sneezing and possibly just talking.  In the last post  I suggested you view the video called Why Do It In Your Sleeve? .  It is a humorous look at a very serious subject but will bring the message home clearly.

Let's face it, our Mothers taught us to cover our mouths with our hands.  They did not know they were aiding in the trasmission of viruses and bacteria all of which we were told were germs.  We cough, cover our mouth with our hand, spread the germs on our hands then go about our business.  We pick up the phone, walk to the refrigerator door, reach in for the milk, pour a cup of coffee from the electric pot, put something into the micro wave, pat the dog, read the newspaper then pick up our purse, open the front door, get in the car and drive to work.  How many things have we touched and contaminated???

Germs can live a few seconds to 48 hours on surfaces outside the body. Flu viruses tend to live longer on surfaces than cold viruses do. Also, it's generally believed that cold and flu viruses live longer on nonporous surfaces — such as plastic, metal or wood — than they do on porous surfaces — such as fabrics, skin or paper. Viruses have lived on money for up to two weeks!

So the best way to cough or sneeze is to do it onto the fabric of your sleeve.

Wash Your Hands

Now that you know what is out there in the micro world of germs, the concept of hand washing should take on a whole new meaning.  It is now necessary to re-teach handwashing skills..  It is not sufficient to simply run hands under water and dry them off.  Let's say you just turned on the faucet, touched the soap, turned off the water, reached for a towel of some sort, dried your hands, threw away the towel or hung it up for someone else to use and opened the door of the bathroom and went on your merry way.  How many times did you potentially come into contact with germs?  The faucet handle, the soap, the faucet handle again, the towel dispenser or the towel and then you opened the door of the bathroom. Yuck, yuck yuck you might be leaving with more than you came in with.

When I have to use a public bathroom now I am very conscientious what I touch.  I use my sleeve to cover my hand as I open the door.  I grab a paper towel to turn on the faucet and use the towel to turn off the faucet.  I wash for 20 seconds, usually I hum a song to myself and make sure I clean between my fingers.  I dry with a few paper towels and hold them till I can open the door with a paper towel and then throw away the towel on the way out. 

We need to think about our home bathrooms.  How often do you change the hand towel?  Is it out for just your family or is there one for guests to use? Do you use a soap dispenser or a bar of soap?  How often is the dispenser cleaned?  How often is the sink and faucet cleaned with bleach and water?  I admit I used to use my hand to scoop up water to rinse my mouth out after I brush my teeth.  Now when I think of where my hand has been and how many places it has touched I gag.

It is time to totally rethink the bathroom set up and teach our children differently.  Bars of soap are just not practical anymore unless you are able to have a separate bar for each member of the family and a soft soap dispenser for guests.  Towels need to be changed very frequently.  I think each member of the family should have their own towel and there should not be communal towels any more.  Yikes, I don't want to turn into Tiny Tim  and be hauled away to a rubber padded room for having OCD but things need to change.

Will these sinks enourage men to wash thier hands more carefully?  I think not.

If each of us took a few more seconds to wash our hands, tried our best not to touch anything and recognized that germs are everywhere we might just begin to change our habits.

Good To Share is a great site to view and parts of it are appropriate for your children as well.

1 comment:


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