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Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Easiest, Cheapest Way to Stay Healthy

At-Home Remedies that Really Work

Our Dirty Little Secrets

Ninety-one percent of Americans say they wash their hands after using a public toilet, but an observational study conducted in the six US airports found that only 26 percent of men and 17 percent of women actually did. And here's something to ponder before you shake someone's hand during cold and flu season: A recent survey also found that only 24 percent of men and 39 percent of women always wash their hands after they cough or sneeze.

Hand hygiene among doctors is even worse, with 73 percent of pediatric ICU physicians claiming that they soaped up between patients, but when the MDs were secretly observed, only 10 percent actually washed. If doctors and nurses were more diligent about hand hygiene, up to 80,000 Americans lives would be saved each year.

Experts caution patients to ask healthcare providers a simple question before any hands-on exam: "Did you wash your hands?" That's important even if the provider is wearing gloves, reports Texas Health Resources Infection Control.

When to Wash Away Germs

To stay healthy and avoid spreading germs to others, the CDC and other experts advise washing your hands before and after preparing food, before eating, after changing diapers or using the toilet, after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose, after touching an animal, and after touching garbage.

Follow these simple steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and remove jewelry. A recent study compared bacteria counts on the hands of 50 healthcare workers who wore rings to 50 who didn't. Hand washing lowered levels of staph bacteria by nearly 50 percent for those without rings, but only 29 percent among ring wearers.
  • Lather up with soap. Avoid antibacterial products, which don't work any better than regular soap, according to the Mayo Clinic, and can even lead to bacteria becoming resistant to that antimicrobial ingredient.
  • Rub hands together for at least 20 seconds. To get the timing right, kids can recite the alphabet as they scrub. Pay equal attention to all surfaces of both hands: Research shows that righties don't wash their right hand as carefully as the left, while the opposite is true for lefties. Fingernails and fingertips typically harbor the most microorganisms.
  • Rinse thoroughly under running water—the force of the stream sweeps dirt and germs down the drain. And be sure to dry well, which helps rub away remaining microbes. A study published in Epidemiology and Infection found that when people touched someone else with freshly washed, but damp hands, they transferred a whopping 68,000 microorganisms, compared to just 140 when their hands were dry.
  • The CDC says that while soap and water is best, hand sanitizers containing at least 60 percent alcohol can do in a pinch. However, they don't eliminate all types of germs.
 
Note: from Karen at http://Herbsplus4health.blogspot.com  Try Nature's Sunshine's Silver Shield Gel (alcohol free) as a terrific hand sanitizer to add 4 hours of protection from bacteria, influenza, fungus, and other dangerous microbes which can cause sickness.

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