As a person who takes immune suppressing drugs and who, as a result of said drugs, has problems with keeping her white blood count where it is supposed to be, I take germs…your germs to be specific, very seriously.
So, if you have a cold, the flu or any other wildly contagious sickness, please stay away from me until it’s gone! I won’t be offended. In fact, I’ll take it as a sign you care about me!
There is one sure fire way to reduce the risk of spreading colds, the flu and all the other nasty “junk” that we get this time of year….WASH YOUR HANDS! Washing your hands is the number one universal precaution we can all take in reducing the chance of infecting other people with bad germs. We simple don’t do it enough.
In case you don’t believe me, here are some facts about the importance of hand washing: (From the CDD)
- It is estimated that washing hands with soap and water could reduce diarrheal disease-associated deaths by up to 50%
- Researchers in London estimate that if everyone routinely washed their hands, a million deaths a year could be prevented
- A large percentage of foodborne disease outbreaks are spread by contaminated hands
- Handwashing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16%
- 80% of all infectious diseases are transmitted by touch
95% of the population says that they wash their hands after using a public toilet. However when 8,000 people were monitored across five large cities in the US, they found the actual number to be more like 67%.
- People should wash their hands for a minimum of 30 seconds.
- It reduces the spread of colds in the general population by 21%
So, please remember to wash your hands and do it:
- Before you prepare food
- Before you eat
- Before and after caring for children and the elderly
- Putting in or taking out contact lenses
- After taking out the garbage
- After using the restroom
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- After playing with pets
- After coming into contact with someone you know is ill
- After touching surfaces in public places
- Before and after providing any kind of wound care
- After handling money
- After cleaning your house
- After doing laundry
Or any other time you come into contact with something gross!
It can be hard on the skin to wash your hands so frequently but that’s what Vaseline therapy is for! Lather that stuff on your hands at night before bed and the throw an old pair of CLEAN sweat socks on your hands and they will be soft as a baby’s bottom by morning.
If you are looking for a more organic solution to the use of Vaseline, I recently read that using coconut oil does the trick as well in helping to keep hands from drying out too much during the winter months.