Where did 2019 go? As we get ready to gather with friends and family this holiday season, it’s important to do all we can to stay healthy, so we don’t miss out on any of the excitement this time of the year brings.
Healthy eating, regular exercise, adequate amounts of sleep, and of course getting a flu shot are all good places to start. Illness-causing germs can spread, however, if you don’t practice proper hand hygiene and disinfect and clean frequently touched surfaces.
Handwashing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer are the best ways to prevent the transfer of germs. Keep in mind:
Don’t splash and dash – Use of the lackadaisical “splash and dash” handwashing technique doesn’t count as washing your hands. Be sure to wash carefully, with soap, for at least 20 seconds. This contact time is important for lifting germs from hands and rinsing them down the drain. When using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, leave your hands wet for at least 15 seconds. This amount of time is necessary to cover your entire hand and to allow the proper contact time for the alcohol to kill the germs.
Clean hands at critical times – Since it’s impossible to constantly practice hand hygiene, either washing or sanitizing your hands at key moments is the most practical way to prevent the spread of germs that can cause illness. Critical times include before and during food preparation, before eating, and after sneezing or coughing.
Encourage others to practice good hand hygiene –Even if you do everything right, germs could still be passed around at your holiday gathering if others aren’t as careful. A helpful tip is to keep pump bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer in strategic food prep and dining areas.
It is important to remember that illness-causing germs can also be spread by the surfaces we touch. Make sure to:
Sanitize and clean food-contact surfaces – Germs can easily develop if food-contact surfaces are not sanitized and cleaned after every use. For example, be sure to sanitize cutting boards after each time to avoid cross contamination.
Disinfect frequently touched objects – At work and in our homes, we all touch a variety of surfaces. Between doorknobs, kitchen and break room counters, light switches, and grocery cart handles, germs that can cause illness are easily transferred from one person to the next via the surfaces we touch. It is important to frequently clean and disinfect both hard and soft surfaces, as well as objects such as office equipment and children’s toys.
No one has time to be sick, especially during the holiday season. Luckily, proper hand hygiene combined with surface disinfecting and cleaning can help you stay healthy and not miss a single special moment of the season. Find more tips at www.PURELL.com.