By Maureen Halpert
By now you should have seen our Tips To Fight The Cold and Flu Pretty packed with
information…yep! Well, since we want to keep you, our RAL readers, as healthy as possible,
we have done a little more digging. Now we don’t want to make you paranoid, but we think you
may want to take a look at what we uncovered!
1) Cell Phones
Did you know cellphones have 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat? Why? Toilet
seats get cleaned, but most of us don’t think about cleaning our cell phones. Our
phones spend a lot of time near our mouths and noses, and some of us even use them
on the toilet! Now—no problem if you keep the phone to yourself, but when shared or
borrowed you’ve just upped the ante for sharing those pesky germs and bacteria that
could get someone sick…or vice versa! Not so smart for a smartphone…don’t you think!
Office desks, phones, computer keyboards, remotes, staplers, copy machines—you
name it—can be packed with germs! Researchers say the typical work desktop has
21,000 germs per square inch as compared to 49 germs per square inch on the office
toilet seat! So you might want to reconsider sharing, and if you must, make sure you
have antibacterial wipes—especially for often shared office phones and keyboards.
3) Wash Hands
Hand washing isn’t rocket science, but there is a right way to do it! Firstly, you
don’t want to over-do it since it can cause dryness. But washing frequently is
important—especially before making or eating food, touching your face, eyes and
mouth. And always wash your hands “right after” you use the bathroom, blow your
nose, cough, sneeze, or touch anything dirty—particularly if you have touched
someone who is sick. And don’t skimp! This means…use soap and make sure you
wash for “20” seconds! Singing “Happy Birthday” will get you there!
4) Touching Nose
Should your nose be misbehaving or that piece of food in your teeth be driving you
crazy, try to resist the temptation to take matters into your own hands and as they
say ”pick at it.” Instead, make sure you have some Kleenex and a couple of
toothpicks with you just in case! And yes…when they say no touching of your face
and nose…they also mean teeth!
5) Elevators, ATM’s & More!
You know you should keep your hands away from elevator railings, bannisters,
exercise machines, elevator buttons, and the like. But let’s face it—it’s a big dirty
world out there with ATM Machines, railings, and buttons where ever you look.
And money may be able to buy you things, but it can also be covered with all sorts
of germs and bacteria. So how do you get around this! Use your knuckles
when pressing buttons, and if you have to touch something, make sure you wash
your hands afterwards or at least use a hand sanitizer. As for shopping carts, wipe
those handles down.
6) Door Handles
We all have to open and close doors and use doorknobs. But we can be smart about
it. Instead using your hands, try opening and closing the door with your foot, shoulder
or elbow. As for the dreaded restroom doorknob, use a paper towel to open the door
and then throw the towel away.
7) Public Restrooms
Public toilets are what they are, and you never know who has been using them. So if
there is a paper toilet cover available, make sure you use it. And whatever you do don’t
flush the toilet with your hands. Use either toilet paper or a paper towel, and when all
else fails, use your foot for the flush!
8) Shake hands wash them!
O.K. there may be someone who is sick who feels he should shake your hand. But you
have another option! You can nod your head and smile! If he insists on shaking your
hand, well you know the drill, head for the soap and water or the hand sanitizer.
9) Candy Bowls
Food and drink can be fun to share. But be assured those little germs will meet and
greet when you do. And when it comes to dipping and chipping and double-dipping
or grabbing M&M’s from the community bowl, you may want to think twice since you
don’t know what germs and bacteria may be lurking from the person before?
Last but not least there are the “fingernails” which are a great hiding place for dirt and
germs. Estimates say that 95% of bacteria on the hands are under the fingernails!
(Gross!) So keeping those nails clean and trimmed are not just for impressing–it’s a
matter of good hygiene. A nailbrush can do the trick to keep your nails kempt and
germ-free. And those left over nail trimmings aren’t for the office but for the privacy of
your own bathroom. And for any nail-biters, now might be a good time to stop…
So there it is…the ins and outs of what and what not to do. We sure hope these tidbits of
information will help keep you safe and well. And if you have any questions, just ask us, and if
we don’t know the answer, we will do what we can to find out!
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