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Have You Been Washing Your Hands Correctly? The Answer Is Probably No

Have You Been Washing Your Hands Correctly? The Answer Is Probably No

In 1847, Dr Ignaz P. Semmelweiss, a Hungarian obstetrician, realized that the occurrence of infections and mortality in newborns could be considerably reduced by practicing proper hand hygiene. As this was before the confirmation of the germ theory by Louis Pasteur, Semmelweis could not give any acceptable scientific explanation for his discovery. He was committed to an insane asylum by his colleagues when they became offended by his attempt to promote better hand-washing habits among them. His realization earned widespread acceptance within a few years of his death.

Washing hands has been proven to be able to significantly decrease the spread of so many diseases. Poor hand hygiene practices are the primary cause of many illnesses, starting with the common cold to more grave infections such as meningitis, hepatitis A, and many varieties of infectious diarrhea.

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However, most people take less than 10 seconds to wash their hands. They wash mostly the palms of their hands and usually miss the remaining areas. Fingertips hold more bacteria than the palms, and there is a germ stronghold under your nails.

The Horrifying Truth

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Amelia asking Reese to Share

    Most people assume that the transference of diseases by “touch” means getting infected by being in physical contact with an infected person. But the fact is “touch” primarily refers to touching your own mouth, eyes, and nose, or the touching of food you are about to consume with your own contaminated unwashed hands. This “touch” transfers approximately 80% of communicable diseases.

    The number one cause of child mortality is pneumonia. Respiratory illnesses like the common cold, the flu, and pneumonia can be communicated by touching your face with contaminated hands. The second-most widespread cause of childhood death is diarrhea. Touching food with unwashed hands can lead to diarrhea and other food-borne infections like E. Coli, Salmonella, and Staph. Washing your hands can decrease diarrhea rates by at least 40%.

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    The two most crucial times for washing your hands are after using the bathroom and before handling food. But the horrifying truth is that only 20% of people actually wash their hands before touching food. Any area you touch in a bathroom, from the door handle and the flush knob to the faucet, is covered with germs. When a toilet is flushed with the lid open, bacteria such as E. Coli and Staph float in the fine mist which finally settles, covering every inch of the bathroom. The percentage of women washing their contaminated hands after a toilet jaunt is just 75%, while it is a shocking 50% for men.

    The WHO Steps to Clean and Safe Hands

    The World Health Organization recommends the following effective hand-washing technique and outlines the following steps. This is much more effective than “Apply soap all over your hands and wash it off.”

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      Though ideally you should wash your hands for at least 30 seconds, the minimum recommended time is 15 seconds.That extra 15 seconds can remove 10 times more bacteria. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for just 30 seconds can kill the same amount of bacteria as two whole minutes of washing your hands with soap and water.

      Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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      Anju Mobin

      Anju is a Certified Nutritionist, and a Highly Experienced Health, Fitness and Nutrition Writer.

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      Last Updated on March 24, 2021

      8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

      8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

      We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

      On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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      Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

      1. Smart Door Locks

      A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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      2. Smart Kitchen Tools

      Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

      3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

      If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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      4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

      These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

      5. Nest Thermostat

      This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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      6. Smart Lighting

      Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

      7. Google Chromecast Ultra

      Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

      8. Canary

      This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

      Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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