Wash Your Hands! - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

09/18/07 - East Texas

Wash Your Hands!

by Ramonica R. Jones  

Studies show men are less likely than women to wash their hands after using the restroom. The excuse most people who don't practice good hygiene use is 'it takes too long.' But the Centers for Disease Control recommends washing your hands with warm soap and water for only 15 to 20 seconds.

Registered Nurse Doris Weatherford of Woodland Heights Medical Center said, "If you wanted to have a little rule of thumb about how long that would be; would be how long you could sing to yourself "Happy Birthday" two times."

But even using hand sanitizers and antibacterial soap several times a day won't get rid of all the germs on your hands.

"We can't sterilize our hands. There are some germs that are gonna be there no matter how much we wash, but there is transient flora that you pick up from the flu and all the things that make you really sick - and so the transient flora is what you're trying to wash off."  

Less than 80 percent of men and women wash their hands after using public restrooms, but doctors said frequent hand washing is the best way to avoid getting sick from colds and food bourne illnesses.

Alcohol-based hand rubs significantly reduce the number of microorganisms on the skin, but if your hands are visibly dirty, you should wash them with soap and water.

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