This post goes to the lady at the rest stop bathroom who forgot to wash her hands! I’m sure it just slipped her mind. She probably didn’t realize that she is part of the statistic that tells us: ‘one out of three people do not wash their hands after using the restroom’. She may not know that up to 80% of all infections are transmitted by not properly washing hands. So, I though I’d make a little post for her. Will ‘the non-handwashing lady’ read this post? I don’t know, but if she does, she can thank me later for just trying to keep her, her family, her friends, the world, and our would just a little healthier.
How to wash your hands (from the Mayo Clinic)
It’s generally best to wash your hands with soap and water. Follow these simple steps:
- Wet your hands with running water.
- Apply liquid, bar or powder soap.
- Lather well.
- Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
- Rinse well.
- Dry your hands with a clean or disposable towel or air dryer.
- If possible, use your towel to turn off the faucet.
Keep in mind that antibacterial soap is no more effective at killing germs than is regular soap. Using antibacterial soap may even lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to the product’s antimicrobial agents — making it harder to kill these germs in the future.
Easy enough…so I thought I’d research on the ‘germiest’ places:
The Top 10 Germiest Public Places
- Playgrounds (A full 44 percent of playground surfaces tested positive for bodily fluids…Yuck! Carry alcohol wipes or hand-sanitizing gel in your purse, and clean everybody’s hands a couple of times during a park visit, especially before snacking.)
- Bus rails/armrests
- Public bathrooms (Ya…we’ve all been there!)
- Shopping cart handles (Carts rank high on the yuck scale because they’re handled by dozens of people every day and you’re “putting your broccoli where some kid’s butt was,” says the professor of environmental microbiology… LOVE IT when the store provides sani wipes so you can wipe them down before you touch them!)
- Escalator handrails
- Chair armrests
- Vending machine buttons (After testing 38 ATMs in downtown Taipei, Chinese researchers recently found that each key contained, on average 1,200 germs. “ATMs aren’t frequently cleaned, and they are regularly touched)
- Shared pens
- Public telephones
- Elevator buttons
“People are more worried about the trash can than the kitchen sink, when it should be the other way around.”
Charles Gerba, PhD, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona
What about the germiest places around the house?
“Kitchen sinks are dirtier than most bathrooms,” says Kelly Reynolds, PhD, an environmental microbiologist at the University of Arizona. There are typically more than 500,000 bacteria per square inch in the drain. In fact, in a recent study, half of the top 10 germiest spots in the home were (gulp!) in the kitchen. That sponge you use to clean the counter? Crawling with bacteria, as are the sink’s basin and faucet handles. As for the sink, clean it twice a week with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach and one quart of water. Scrub the basin, then pour the solution down the drain.
“Anytime you transfer underwear from the washer to the dryer, you’re going to get E. coli on your hands,” Gerba says. Just one soiled undergarment can spread bacteria to the whole load and the machine. Run your washer and dryer at 150 degrees, and wash whites with bleach (not the color-safe type; it doesn’t pack the same punch), which kills 99.99 percent of bugs.
Dirty? Yep. Think petri dish. When University of Arizona professor of environmental microbiology Charles Gerba, PhD, and his team tested women’s purses not long ago, they found that most had tens of thousands of bacteria on the bottom and a few were overrun with millions. Another study found bugs like pseudomonas (which can cause eye infections), and skin-infection-causing staphylococcus bacteria, as well as salmonella and E. coli. Your makeup case is every bit as bad, as are your guy’s wallet and personal digital assistant. Instead of slinging your bag on the floor, hang it on a hook whenever you can—especially in public bathrooms—and keep your bag off the kitchen counter.
More Activities Explaining Hand Washing
The Scrub Club-games, songs, downloads, webisodes…only on the internet can we find games, songs and downloads on washing hands…Love it!
Coloring Sheet– On page three there are some ‘fun’ germs to color.
Make Handwashing Sitckers-just print them off on labels and waalaa!
Okay, now that I’ve written this post give me a day or two to answer comments because I will be bleaching my sink, checking to make sure my washer is set at 150 degrees, buying a new purse, and doing activities with my kids about proper hand washing!
Thanks to the sites who helped me write this post!
and I guess to the rest stop bathroom lady who inspired me to write a post on hand washing!
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