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Wash Your Hands

Timeless Health Tip

When Navy recruits were ordered to wash their hands at least five times a day, there were 45-percent fewer bouts of respiratory illness among the ranks.

Wash Your Hands

Hand-washing has been recommended for more than 150 years as a simple but effective way of stopping the spread of illness, but most people admit they do not follow the advice.

Take that extra minute and wash your hands!

Serious Hand Cleaning: Twenty full seconds of scrubbing is what it takes to lift germs off skin and carry them away when you rinse.

Away from the sink? Choose hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol, and don't skimp. People often use too little or wipe it off before it has dried.

Notable Note: Water is a wonderful cleanser in its natural state. This fact seems to be under-rated, but it's true! So if you find you cannot access soap but need to cleanse your hands, just find some water and give them a good rinse.

Should You Use Anti-Bacterial Soaps?

We have antibacterial soap, antibacterial cleaners, even antibacterial cooking surfaces. Unfortunately, the war against bacteria has two important - and harmful - side effects. First, by limiting our exposure to bacteria, we prevent ourselves from building up our immune system. This can make the effects of a bacterial-based illness in the future much more serious.

Second, by constantly attacking bacteria with our various products, many professionals believe we are actually weakening our immune system as a whole. While you should wash your hands and be very careful with uncooked foods, there is no reason to douse yourself or your home with antibacterial cleaners at every opportunity. On the flip side, there is every reason TO take precautions during cold and flu season. Wash your hands often, and for the 20 seconds noted above.

Study Says...

Hackensack University Medical Center doctors found that much of the bacteria on the skin are protective. It is there to prevent harmful bacteria from flourishing and making you ill. If those bacteria are not there, it cannot do its job. Scrubbing with antibacterial soap can remove some good bacteria along with the bad, says their study.

Anti-Germ Tip: Always bring your own pen with you. Everywhere. The one at the grocery store checkout always harbors viruses and bacteria.

Viruses can spread to surfaces in a room within two to four hours of the infected person's arrival. Avoid touching common spots and wash your hands often.

Fun Freebie - Printable Sign to WASH YOUR HANDS!

Our friends over at Speedy Signs offer a nice collection of free, printable signs. One of them is to "Wash Your Hands!" Visit Speedy Signs and print a few these out to put near your sinks to remind everyone to wash.

Speedy Signs Free Printable Wash Your Hands sign

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