When the flu and cold season comes along, many are those who rush to the pharmacy to stock-up on various products with the hope of strengthening their immune system. The only proven method to reduce the frequency of colds, flu, gastroenteritis (stomach flu) and other germs however is incredibly simple and inexpensive: it is good old hand-washing.
If we rely on a national telephone survey carried among 916 Americans however, it would seem that hand-washing is decreasing in popularity.
Here are a few interesting facts from this survey: · Close to 40% of those surveyed admitted to seldom or never washing their hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing their noses. · More than a third admitted to not washing their hands before having lunch. · Nearly half admitted to washing their hands for less than 15 seconds. · A little over half of those surveyed were aware that hand washing is the most effective means to prevent colds.
You should know that washing your hands does not equate to quickly running them under the tap. You must take the time to properly dislodge germs.
Here is the correct way to wash your hands: · Wet your hands thoroughly with warm running water before applying soap; · Vigorously rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds, taking care not to forget the space between your fingers and under your nails, which is approximately the time it takes to slowly recite the alphabet; · Rinse your hands well under warm running water to remove all trace of soap, and dry them thoroughly; · Although hand sanitizers and hand wipes are good alternative solutions, you should wash your hands properly as you can.
As winter and the season for respiratory infections are quickly approaching, you should remember that washing your hands thoroughly is, without a doubt, the most effective way to avoid getting sick!