Cleanliness is Next to Healthiness

We all think of hygiene as white teeth, fresh clothes, a nice scent, groomed hair and overall well manicured. Or we think of the opposite, poor hygiene, bad breath, dirty clothes, body odor, oily hair and overall not manicured. Merriam-Webster’s online definition of hygiene states that it is “a science of the establishment and maintenance of health.” That it is. In infections and diseases such as Hepatitis A, Flu, Impetigo, Conjunctivitis, Periodontitis, Trench Mouth, Salmonella, Urinary Tract Infections, Parasitic Infections and more, the number one suggestion for prevention is to practice good hygiene and to wash your hands throughout the day.

“The American Society of Microbiology finds that up to one-third of people passing through major airports in the United States don’t wash their hands after using the toilet. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also estimates that about one in three people don’t wash their hands after using the restroom.” (MayoClinic)Картинки по запросу CleanlinessYes, good hygiene should not be taken for granted.

“More than half of all illnesses and deaths among young children are caused by germs that get into their mouths through food or water or dirty hands. Many of these germs come from human and animal faeces.” Facts For Life-Why it is Important to Share and Act of Information about Hygiene

“An estimated 76 million cases of foodborne disease occur each year in the United States. … Some cases are more serious, and CDC estimates that there are 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths related to foodborne diseases each year.” CDC

And here is just one more fact, as if the point hasn’t already been made, and believe it or not the objective is not to scare you but to inform you.

“One-third of all Americans have been infected with hepatitis A at some time in the past. … The virus is transmitted when a person eats food or drinks water contaminated with infected human waste. This happens most often when people don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom and then prepare or serve food or water.” Foundation For Digestive Health And Nutrition

Картинки по запросу Good HygieneEveryone, everywhere needs to practice good hygiene and wash their hands, not only for the sake of their own health, but also for the sake of others. The Red Cross, along with other health organizations, is promoting public awareness regarding hygiene focusing on first aid and disease prevention in their campaign, Hygiene for Health. Now that we know hygiene is not simply an effort to display an attractive outward appearance, let us focus on some of the common health concerns that can be avoided by practicing good hygiene.

Who says there is a not cure for the common cold? Isn’t the best cure to never get it in the first place? To quote the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” Here are some precautions for you and your children to slow the spread of the common cold:

  • Wash hands with antibacterial soap and water frequently for at least 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing, then wash your hands immediately after.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth, this is often how infections enter the body.
  • Keep the kitchen and bathroom countertops clean. Cleanliness is next to healthiness!
  • Find a daycare for your child that practices good hygiene.
  • Be sure to keep your workspace germ free with disinfectant wipes. Researchers found that, “the average desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat.”

Have you ever had a Nail Fungal Infection? Doesn’t sound pretty does it? Well, it can also be easily avoided, simply follow the precautions below.

  • Keep your nails trimmed. Trim them straight across, don’t trim or pick at the skin around your nails, and very importantly, keep them clean and dry. Often, fungus grows when the area between the toes are not dried thoroughly.
  • Change your socks often, especially if you exercise or sweat.
  • Don’t walk barefoot in public places, including pools, showers, and locker rooms.
  • Choose a reputable and clean nail salon that sterilizes nail instruments or bring your own sterile nail instruments. Don’t use artificial nails.
  • If you already have a nail fungal infection, be sure to wash your hands after touching the infected nail.

    What exactly is Trench Mouth, you ask? Trench mouth, a form of gingivitis, starts as a bacterial infection and leaves gums inflamed, bleeding, and eventually with large ulcers between the teeth. The name Trench Mouth came about when many soldiers came back from World War I with this condition, which is extremely painful and can cause bad breath. Trench Mouth affects thousands of young adults between the ages of 15 and 35. There are several causes of this form of gingivitis: 1) poor oral hygiene, 2) tobacco use, 3) compromised immune system from stress or systemic disorders, and 4) faulty dental restorations. It stems from an imbalance of “good” verses “bad” bacteria in the mouth.

    Other tips to prevent Trench Mouth, Periodontitis, or other dental hygiene concerns like halitosis are:

  • Brush your teeth and floss at least twice daily. Replace your toothbrush every 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Eat healthy. You are what you eat! If eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables is not feasible for you, then at least take a nutritional supplement
  • Manage your stress levels. A lifestyle change is often necessary to reduce stress levels.
  • Finding someone to talk to (i.e. a counselor or friend) may help as well.
  • Foodborne illnesses such as Hepatitis A, Salmonella, E. Coli, parasites, etc. typically are spread because someone did not wash their hands. Germs are everywhere and you will encounter them throughout the day: when you shake someone’s hand, when you open a door, when you pet an animal, answer a phone, or even turn off the faucet after washing your hands in a public restroom (tip: leave the water running while drying your hands, and turn off the faucet with the paper towel).Картинки по запросу Good Hygiene It is so important to wash your hands thoroughly after touching contaminants, before eating, after using the restroom, changing a diaper, before preparing food, after handling raw meat, after blowing your nose or coughing into your hands, before inserting or removing contact lenses, after taking out the garbage, etc.

    Don’t settle for getting sick! Be proactive, practice good hygiene, eat healthy, reduce stress and by all means, wash your hands.

    What is considered to be “Good Hygiene?”

     

  • Wash your hands thoroughly after touching contaminants, before eating, after using the restroom, changing a diaper, before preparing food, after handling raw meat, after blowing your nose or coughing into your hands, before inserting or removing contact lenses, after taking out the garbage, etc.
  • Bathe daily with a mild soap. It is important to remove bacteria, which can cause body odor and infections, among other things.Картинки по запросу Good Hygiene
  • Wear clean and loosely fitting clothes. It is important to allow the body room to breathe so that perspiration escapes and does not become a breeding ground of bacteria. Change undergarments daily after bathing.
  • Brush your teeth 2-3 times daily, including your tongue to remove dead cells, bacteria and food debris.
  • Floss at least once a day to remove food debris and plaque from between your teeth.
  • Eat healthy and drink plenty of water. Often, bad breath can be the cause of extreme dieting, dry mouth, smoking, chronic infections and diseases, and the consumption of certain foods like onions and garlic.
  • Be sure to keep fingernails and toenails clean and trimmed. You should always trim them straight across. Do not walk barefoot in locker rooms, showers, or public facilities. Also, it is important to dry between your toes thoroughly.
  • Wash your hair every other day using a mild shampoo. After you have rinsed, you can follow up with a conditioner if you need to.
  • To avoid foot odor change socks daily or after exercising, working, etc. and try to alternate shoes every other day.
  • Do not share a cup, towel, utensil, nail instrument, or any other personal hygiene item with anyone.

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