This week is international infection prevention week and you all play a vital role. We are quickly approaching cold and flu season. The most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of infections is WASH YOUR HANDS! You should wash your hands for a MINIMUM of 20 seconds! It takes about 20 seconds to sing the happy birthday song TWICE. Be sure to rub both sides of your hands and between your fingers. Dry your hands with a paper towel and then turn the faucet off using the paper towel to avoid touching a dirty handle.
If you are using reusable towels at home, you should wash them a minimum of twice a week depending on how many family members you have and how soiled the towel becomes. You can also encourage your child’s hand hygiene by going to the CDC website (www.cdc.gov) and downloading the “Happy Handwashing Song” to the tune of the Happy Birthday song. Again remember to sing it TWICE.
If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean your hands. Put a quarter size amount in the palm of your hand and rub the entire surface of both sides of your hands until the product is completely dried.
I am often asked whether or not to use antibacterial soap. According to the FDA, there is no evidence that antibacterial soaps are any better than plain soap and water. If fact, long-term, daily use of antibacterial soaps may contribute to bacterial resistance to antibiotics and may have unanticipated hormonal effects, according to animal studies, that are concerning.
To further prevent the spread of infection:
Avoid touching your face.
Avoid rubbing your eyes.
Sneeze or cough into your elbow.
Use tissues once, throw away and immediately wash your hands. (Avoid being the person who stuffs used tissues in their pockets or purse) .
Clean your door knobs, handles of you sinks, computer keyboard, cell phone and steering wheel daily. (These objects tend to be forgotten when cleaning and actually carry a significant germ burden).
Stay home when you are ill, especially if you have a fever.
Do your part to help us all stay healthy and share this information with your loved ones!