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Are you a good handwasher?
Old 10-13-2014, 03:47 PM   #1
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Are you a good handwasher?

I am not! I'm sure my Mom taught me at one point.

I've resolved to do better at this. DW is much better at hand washing since she seems to contract colds quite often (she knows that it will not protect against airborn viruses).

Here is a link to the Mayo Clinic discussion of handwashing which includes alcohol based sanitizers:
Hand washing: Do's and don'ts - Mayo Clinic

Excerpt follows:
Quote:
  • Wet your hands with running water.
  • Apply liquid, bar or powder soap.
  • Lather well.
  • Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds (yikes! an eternity). Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
  • Rinse well.
  • Dry your hands with a clean or disposable towel or air dryer.
  • If possible, use your towel to turn off the faucet.
I have some slight allergies. How to scratch that nose once in awhile?
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Old 10-13-2014, 03:53 PM   #2
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I became a frequent hand washer (probably at least five or six times a day) years ago, and the number of colds I've contracted dropped to nearly zero and has stayed there. I get one mild cold every couple of years or so. I like Lava soap for this because I think it does a better scrubbing job than most.
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:02 PM   #3
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As a former healthcare worker, of course I had this drummed into me, so that I now have difficulty not washing my hands frequently! Since SARS I have always carried a little plastic bottle of hand sanitizer. I use it after touching dirty surfaces like handrails, before touching food and in any washroom where I am not confident about the cleanliness. The number of colds I get has gone down dramatically. Of course it does help that I am not spending time in hospitals any more!
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:07 PM   #4
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I was just on a two week cruise and thats all they talk about. wash wash wash

Funny they wanted you to use a towel to open the restroom door when leaving (even had a special garbage can to discard) but encuraged using the hand rails on the stairs.??


I just read that the number one germ spot is the handle on a grocery cart.
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:20 PM   #5
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I was just on a two week cruise and thats all they talk about. wash wash wash.
After the last cruise ship outbreak I read an article about the Navy's take on prevention. Wash a lot is of course mandatory, but when a crew member becomes ill he is immediately isolated until cleared by medical.

That's an operational readiness issue. A submarine or aircraft carrier with half or more of the crew puking isn't going to be much good to anybody.

Perhaps one of the Navy guys here can comment.
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:34 PM   #6
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I get sick about once a year. There is some early research that suggests that too much hand washing and especially using the purell type alcohol sanitizers has lead to a rise in auto-immune diseases. The human body is meant to come in contact with germs and bacteria of all sorts. Not the lethal ones of course...

I only get sick when I don't get enough sleep. Lesson learned.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:05 PM   #7
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If I fly on an airplane, I'm almost guaranteed to get sick within a few days. I hike on the Appalachian Trail for 10 days with little to no bathing and I never get sick. Coincidence, I think not.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:06 PM   #8
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I wonder if things have changed that much, since I was a kid. Are "germs" worse?
Washed hands before meals and after using the bathroom... but that was about it.
I can remember several cases of impetigo, usually after we had been playing in the dump, looking for good stuff.
I have to admit, not too much better today, but then I don't go out as much, or get as dirty.
God will get me for this ... I have only had one cold in the past 10 or 15 years, and that only lasted two days. Never get sick from eating... 'cept for occasional tummy (ulp)... gas...
I suppose I had all the childhood diseases... mumps, measles, etc. bot only missed two or three days during the employment years, for having a cold (more likely, for a hangover).

DW and I just haven't kept up, so it drives us crazy, when we go to the mall, and see the moms with their hand sanitizers, or wiping down the handle on a shopping cart.

Just imagine... baths only on Saturday night... no running hot water on the second floor bath, and using kettles from the stove to fill the tub. Mom was first, Dad, second, me third, and my little brother last. A few extra kettles along the way so the water didn't get too cold.

Talking to some volunteers who worked in Africa poor countries, it seems that kids are not overly or often ill with the diseases that doctors warn American children about. I do wonder if being kinda dirty as a kid, built up some immunity.

So, yeah... I DO know better, but don't overdo hand washing. We suspect that there may be a bit of overkill. I have a mental picture of being greeted at the entrance of the Mall, with a health worker, dressed in full spacesuit, taking temperatures and using a lie detector to make sure that we're telling the truth when we sign the affidavit about not having been in a foreign country.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:18 PM   #9
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Before meals, after using the restroom, and before and after food prep. (In between if I handle meat as well.)

We break out the hand-san if someone in the house has a cold. But otherwise just the after potty, before meals, and for pre/post food prep.

Kids have been trained to sneeze into their elbow (holdover from the SARS days - all kids were trained in this.) DH and I are badly trained and still habitually sneeze into our hands - then go wash our hands if we can't get a tissue or hanky out quickly enough... (cuz they're gross at that point.)

The other thing I do - I run the dishwasher on "sanitize" mode if someone in the house is ill. That heats the water even hotter during the rinse cycle (using more energy) - so germs that survive the bleach in the detergent, get nailed by the heat.

I'm not a big fan of the antibacterial soaps, but have no issue with hand sanitizer.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:20 PM   #10
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DW and I just haven't kept up, so it drives us crazy, when we go to the mall, and see the moms with their hand sanitizers, or wiping down the handle on a shopping cart.
I know what you mean, we grew up much the same way but did have running water and a water heater. Lots of animals - cats, dogs, birds, hamsters, etc. as pets and I rarely get sick. I strongly suspect that's why.

I did once work in a "sick building" and got several colds a year while there. The health dept. had offices in the same building and they bailed but we, being lower on the totem pole, had to stay for several more years.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:22 PM   #11
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Before meals, after the restroom, and a few other times during the day when I come inside after working in the yard or workshop without gloves.


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Old 10-13-2014, 05:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
I wonder if things have changed that much, since I was a kid. Are "germs" worse?
Washed hands before meals and after using the bathroom... but that was about it.
I can remember several cases of impetigo, usually after we had been playing in the dump, looking for good stuff.
I have to admit, not too much better today, but then I don't go out as much, or get as dirty.
God will get me for this ... I have only had one cold in the past 10 or 15 years, and that only lasted two days. Never get sick from eating... 'cept for occasional tummy (ulp)... gas...
I suppose I had all the childhood diseases... mumps, measles, etc. bot only missed two or three days during the employment years, for having a cold (more likely, for a hangover).

DW and I just haven't kept up, so it drives us crazy, when we go to the mall, and see the moms with their hand sanitizers, or wiping down the handle on a shopping cart.

Just imagine... baths only on Saturday night... no running hot water on the second floor bath, and using kettles from the stove to fill the tub. Mom was first, Dad, second, me third, and my little brother last. A few extra kettles along the way so the water didn't get too cold.

Talking to some volunteers who worked in Africa poor countries, it seems that kids are not overly or often ill with the diseases that doctors warn American children about. I do wonder if being kinda dirty as a kid, built up some immunity.

So, yeah... I DO know better, but don't overdo hand washing. We suspect that there may be a bit of overkill. I have a mental picture of being greeted at the entrance of the Mall, with a health worker, dressed in full spacesuit, taking temperatures and using a lie detector to make sure that we're telling the truth when we sign the affidavit about not having been in a foreign country.
+1 Except it was Sunday night that was bath night, and we had no running hot water or a toilet in the house, and in fact only a standpipe in the yard shared with other folks in the building until we moved when I was aged 6. Overnight we used a bucket in the bedroom rather than walk down to the bottom of the yard in the freezing cold. (cue the 4 Yorkshiremen....)


However, I certainly wouldn't choose that as a route to good health. These days I wash my hands every time I go to the bathroom and I carry cleaner with me when hiking. However, that is the most I do, maybe I should do more.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:28 PM   #13
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Yes; I have kids, so tend to get an inordinate amount of pee, poop, snot, vomit, etc on my hands compared to non-medical field kid free folks. I figure I wash my hands with soap at least 10 times per day. More often if someone is sick.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:30 PM   #14
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I didn't see this thread earlier, but I just washed my hands very thoroughly before cooking dinner. I did everything that the Mayo clinic listed, except that I didn't use the paper towel to turn off the water! What a great idea. I'll start doing that regularly, now. Thanks!
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:34 PM   #15
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Nope. I'm perfunctory at best and I rarely get sick. I was raised in a family of 5 kids and Mom certainly kept a clean house and exercised proper sanitation but she didn't try to track down and kill every single germ. My baby brother once ate my butterfly collection. Mom found the fragments in his diaper. She called the doctor, who thought it was funny. Brother is now 54 and has no lingering effects.

I do think that the germs/viruses going around are scarier now- MRSA, Ebola, etc., and that because people travel more widely they're exposed to unfamiliar viruses and bacteria. Even if you stay home, someone can bring it into the country or you can be exposed via food products from elsewhere. And don't get me started on what flying petri dishes airplanes are.

Still, I prefer to let my own immune system do its work. One interesting theory on why there are so many severe allergies now is that if the immune system isn't deployed on garden-variety germs and viruses, it starts to flare up at other irritants such as foods.
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:52 PM   #16
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Still, I prefer to let my own immune system do its work. One interesting theory on why there are so many severe allergies now is that if the immune system isn't deployed on garden-variety germs and viruses, it starts to flare up at other irritants such as foods.
Right

Hygiene hypothesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One of my relatives is a bit of a germaphobe. Lots of sanitizers in her house. The kids don't play outside much. And she runs to the doctor for everything she and her kids have. Mostly things that my kids "just get over" given a little time. Anyway, her kids have a variety of allergies and, though it's probably just a coincidence, I like to think it's because they didn't play in the dirt enough when they were little.
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:58 PM   #17
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Before most meals, before food prep/cooking, after the restroom and otherwise as needed after an activity that results in dirty hands. That said, one can reportedly go too far with cleanliness and germophobia and compromise one's immune system. I'm not sure today's hyper clean kids are healthier than we were as "dirty" kids...
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:14 AM   #18
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Being from the midwest, I "worsh" my hands...
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:48 PM   #19
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Being from the midwest, I "worsh" my hands...
In PA it's "warsh".
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:31 PM   #20
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In PA it's "warsh".
That's what I remember. "Warsh your hands so you can have your dippy eggs".

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