Take care of yourself during all the holiday hustle and bustle
Friday, November 15, 2013 9:00 PM
With the holiday hustle and bustle upon us to rush to the stores to shop, preparing food for family gatherings, and seeing family and friends we may be out of our routines that assist us in maintaining our healthy selves. A few simple tips can assist us in staying healthy as we enjoy the holidays.
Keeping your soap and water handy might just do the trick in keeping the germs away. Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important ways and inexpensive ways you can avoid illness and the spread of germs. Kansas State University and Kansas State Cooperative Extension reports on the frequency of hand washing:
They report that people do not wash their hands as often as you might expect. Observations of 6,333 adults showed that only 68% adults washed their hands in the public restroom. Of the women observed 74% washed their hands 74% of men washed their hands. In a school in Detroit, 305 school children washed their hands four times a day and experienced 24% fewer sick days as a result in reparatory illness and 51% fewer days away from school due to stomach upsets.
The Minnesota Department of Health explains how hand washing works:
2. Warm water
1. Wet hands with warm, running water.
2. Add soap.
3. Rub hands vigorously for 20 seconds.
Wash all surfaces including:
Backs of hands
Tips of fingers
Under fingernails-nailbrush is best
Keep fingers pointing down
5. Dry vigorously with paper or clean cloth towel.
6. Turn off faucet with towel and open door with towel.
How it works:
The soap suspends the dirt and soils.
The friction motion helps pull dirt and greasy or oily soils free from the skin.
Warm running water washes away suspended dirt and soils that trap germs.
Final friction of wiping hands removes more germs.
Proper hand washing can assist you in avoiding the flu, respiratory illnesses, or food borne illnesses. Now we know how hand washing works, we should look at when to wash our hands. The Minnesota center for Disease control shares this list
When to wash our hands:
After going to the toilet or changing diapers
After coughing or sneezing
After getting visible soil on hands
After handling raw meat/poultry or unwashed fruits and veggies
After playing with pets
After smoking, eating or drinking
After touching sores, lacerations or infected areas
After playing/working outside
After playing in water more than one person has used
Before and after touching any animals
When arriving at work or school
Before handling foods
Before giving medications
Before putting contacts in eyes
Before touching ready-to-eat foods/snacks
As you enjoy your families this holiday season, I hope you all keep in mind how to keep everyone you love healthy, it is a great gift for the holidays!
For more information or a hand washing presentation for your classroom or preschool, call the Montgomery County Extension Office, Joy Dugan Health & Human Sciences Purdue Extension Educator: 765-364-6363 or email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on facebook!
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