Hand Washing Number 1 Action to Take in Preventing the Coronavirus

No one likes to be sick but it happens. While you’d have to lock yourself in an air bubble away from other people to guarantee that you won’t get sick from the coronavirus, there are ways to decrease your chances of becoming infected. Frequent hand washing is one of the easiest measures you can take to reduce your chance of coming down with the virus.

During the day we all touch dozens of surfaces that may have the coronavirus or flu virus on them: doorknobs, grocery cart handles, computer mouse and keyboards, cell phones and telephones—the list is endless. The virus remains active on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours. And don’t think that if no one in your family is exhibiting flu symptoms, you’re in the clear. You can be contagious for a couple of days before you become sick. You can be contagious with the Wuhan coronavirus from 7 to 10 days before you have symptoms.

Wash your hands with hot soapy water, dry with a paper towel and throw the towel away. When in public restrooms, be careful of the surfaces you touch. If the restroom has a hot air hand dryer use that instead of paper towels. Antibacterial soap isn’t necessary as the flu is caused by a virus not bacteria. It won’t be killed by the soap. It will be destroyed by the hot water and the friction from rubbing your hands together with the soap.

If soap and water isn’t available use an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Again rubbing causes friction and that friction kills the virus. Don’t dry the hand sanitizer off with a paper towel. Let your hands dry naturally. That gives the alcohol more time to work.

It is important to instruct children in these preventive measures as well. Children come in contact with more potential sources of germs, including viruses, than adults do. Not only do they have a classroom of up to 40 other children but they make contact with other children at lunch time and on the playground, and on the school bus.

Children’s immune systems aren’t as developed as adults so they get sick more often. Teaching your child to wash their hands often is one of the best ways to prevent them from becoming ill. Give each child their own bottle of hand sanitizer to carry with them, if it’s allowed by the school rules.

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