The flu season has arrived and one of the simplest and easiest ways to avoid catching it is washing your hands properly.
- Wash your hands after you have been to the toilet.
- Wash your hands before and after preparing food.
- Wash your hands after: blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; changing diapers or helping a child use the toilet; playing with shared toys.
- Wash your hands before and after having contact with sick people.
- It is also recommended to use alcohol-based hand-sanitizers in between.
How to wash your hands and stay healthy:
- Bring water to a warm comfortable temperature.
- Lather up well with soap.*
- Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds, also pay attention to your fingernails, work the soap in between your fingers and lather your hands up well to your wrists.
- Rinse off with warm water.
- If you can, use a paper towel to dry your hands off and the expended paper to turn off the water.
*Soap doesn’t actually kill bad germs or bacteria, instead it’s the combination of soap, rubbing, rinsing and drying that helps getting these bugs off your hands.
Liquid soap is usually better than bar soaps and more hygienic. If a bar soap is the only option it should be stored on a rack so that the bar doesn’t sit in water. Also antibacterial soap reportedly doesn’t provide any benefits over normal soaps and could even cause antibiotic resistance.
It is important, especially with children, older or sick people in house, to prevent germs from spreading. There are a few simple rules to follow:
- Wash your hands and keep them clean.
- Disinfect your kitchen sink and counters daily which involves using bleach, ammonia, alcohol or vinegar to kill germs. Soap alone doesn’t do the trick.
- Disinfect your bathroom including door handle and faucet.
- Regularly disinfect your desk, keyboard, mouse and workplace. Also avoid eating at your desk.
- Stay home from work if you’re sick and keep your children home from school when they have cold or flu symptoms.
- Try to use your own mug, pen and work utensils and store them separately.
- Used tissues belong in the garbage. Don’t reuse them.
- Certain groups of people with a weak immune system should get their flu jab every year in autumn.
- Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you.
- Try to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle for a strong immune system, e.g. 5 portions of fruit and veg per day; get enough sleep; decrease your sugar and salt intake; keep active and exercise regularly.