July 15, 2018

Handwashing Awareness Week Tip: Don’t Touch Your T Zone

Handwashing Awareness Week Ends tomorrow, but good handwashing practices shouldn’t. Washing your hands  is the best defense against illness and especially important during the winter months which are peak flu and norovirus seasons.

washing handsDr. Will Sawyer, a solo family practice doctor, has created the Henry the Hand Foundation to raise awareness about the importance of good handwashing practices as a way to prevent infection. According to Sawyer, “there are four elements of “hand awareness” that can prevent illness: washing your hands before you eat, not coughing into your hand, not sneezing into your hands,  and refraining from touching the mucous membranes of your eyes, ears, nose and mouth.

Wash you hands with warm water and soap fro 20 seconds, about as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice. Wash your hands: each time you arrive home, before you eat, before and during food preparation and after using the bathroom, or changing a diaper. If you have a baby, ask visitors to wash their hands before holding the baby.

Use the “vampire” technique when you sneeze or cough by drawing the crook of your elbow up to your mouth.  (This technique is named after old-fashioned vampires that wore capes, not the angst-riddled, shirtless kind from the Twilight books and movies.)

Finally, don’t touch your T Zone. The mucous membranes of your eyes, ears, nose and mouth are ideal environments for bacterial growth.

 

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