Southeast Ohio is having its share of health problems this year, ranging from whooping cough and bacterial meningitis to the H1N1 scare, but the spread of these diseases can all be prevented by one simple step, washing your hands properly.
“It really reduces your chances of picking up an infection if you wash your hands on a regular routine basis. Every time you blow your nose, every time you change a baby’s diaper. Every time you got to the bathroom. Anytime that you feel you’ve been touching a lot of objects that other people have handled, like door knobs, grocery carts, anything, because bacteria grows on the surfaces of those things, ” says Dr. Vicki Whitacre of the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department.
Dr. Whitacre says when washing your hands, you need to use warm water along with any kind of soap. She says washing your hands 15 to 20 seconds will kill most of the bacteria. She says it’s important to get under your fingernails, as well as up onto your arms if they have been contaminated, but if you can’t get to a sink, Whitacre says there’s another substitute for soap and water.
“You can use the hand sanitizers, particularly the ones that have alcohols in them are more effective, ” says Whitacre.
She says to make sure the hand sanitizer is dry though before touching your face. She says it is possible for kids to get alcohol poisoning if they get too much of the hand sanitizer in their system.