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Germs, Germs, Everywhere

child at the sink washing her hands

Although it’s impossible to avoid these little bugs, we can take precautions to steer clear of unnecessary encounters. The first step is acknowledging where germs are quietly waiting to interact with us. While it’s not recommended that we avoid activities or live in a bubble, it is smart to be as safe and clean as possible.

Fast food trays - These are not typically washed each time they are used. It’s best to wash your hands after handling one, or at least use hand sanitizer before touching your food.

Menus and salt & pepper shakers - Some restaurants use paper menus that are thrown away after handled by each customer. If the restaurant you are visiting is using community menus, wash your hands after ordering your food. Salt & pepper shakers not only get germy from hands, they are fed by tiny bits of food left on the shaker. Rarely cleaned, use at your own risk!

Public restrooms - There is no way toilet handles, faucets, soap dispensers, and doorknobs can be sanitized after each use. These germy transfer stations are best untouched whenever possible. Soap dispensers can be so germy, the soap itself can become contaminated. Use a paper towel to flush, turn off the faucet, and open doors. Hot air blowers may seem like the answer to a no-touching goal, however these nasty machines forcibly blow and spread germs all over the room—and you—as they dry your hands.

Hotels - As soon as you set your belongings down, wipe off light switches, the television remote, door knobs, and other surfaces you think need cleaning. If you don’t have disinfectant wipes, use a hot washcloth with soap and water. It’s also recommended that you wear shoes in your room and flip-flops when you shower. Carpet, bathroom floors, and showers can hold germs that get on your feet, in your toenails, and cause fungus growth.

Grocery cart handles - Some grocery stores wipe the handles off when you enter their store, however, since the same towel is used over and over, germs can actually be transported from one cart to another more easily. In addition, the wipes supplied by most stores are made with mostly water. It’s best to bring your own alcohol-based wipes and do the task yourself. Alcohol is needed to kill the germs that make us sick.

And speaking of groceries, before putting products in the refrigerator or cabinets, rinse or wipe them off. They’ve been touched by at least three people . . . the stock person, the cashier, and the bagger. These simple precautions can help to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.


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