Medical Miracles in the Palm of Your Hand

September 14, 2011 by gfmhm
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Prevent colds and the flu, so easy even a child can do it, no risks and it’s practically free.  What is it?  It is washing your hands.  Sounds too good to be true, but this is the real deal.

Low Tech, but Effective
Every surface that you touch, from counters to door handles to books to money, teams with bacteria and viruses. As you touch these surfaces, the germs adhere to your hands. When you touch you nose or mouth or rub your eyes, you transport the germs into a perfect environment for them to grow and multiply.

Hand washing with soap and water removes the viruses and bacteria from the surface of your hands.  It is very effective at preventing diseases transmitted by germs.

Not Everyone Washes Their Hands
A group of researchers from Wirthin Worldwide performed an experiment sponsored by the American Society of Microbiology.  First, Wirthin surveyed over 1,000 people on the telephone. Over 95% of people said they wash their hands after using a public restroom.  The researchers then parked themselves with clipboards in airport bathrooms and observed over 7,500 patrons. Up to 30% never even went near the sink.  Could this explain why travelers get those colds?

Hand Washing, the Ritual
Simply rub soap on your hands for the amount of time it takes to sing the ABC song.

Correct Way to Wash Your Hands

  • First wet your hands and apply liquid soap or clean bar soap. Place the bar soap on a rack and allow it to drain.
  • Next rub your hands vigorously together and scrub all surfaces.
  • Continue for 10-15 seconds or about the length of time it takes you to hum a little tune. It is the soap combined with the scrubbing action that helps dislodge and remove germs.
  • Rinse well and dry your hands with a clean towel.

Wash Before You:

  • Prepare or eat food
  • Treat a cut or wound
  • Tend to someone who’s sick
  • Put in or take out contact lenses
  • Do anything that involves putting your fingers in or near your mouth, nose, or eyes

Wash After You:

  • Go to the bathroom
  • Handle uncooked foods, especially raw meat
  • Eat
  • Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze
  • Handle garbage
  • Tend to someone who’s sick
  • Change a diaper
  • Play with or touch a pet, especially reptiles and exotic animals

Whether or not you get the flu vaccine this year, make sure to take advantage of this medical miracle that’s in your hands.


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