Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sniffle, Sniffle, Sneeze, Sneeze, Cough, Cough

*Disclaimer- This post should not be considered to provide complete medical information.  It should not be considered as medical advice. Please see your physician with your concerns and to discuss your  health risks.*

Fall is in the air.  Don't you just love it?  I do, but what I don't love is all the sickness that inevitably comes as the temperature drops.  So what can you do to help protect yourself from all those icky germs that get passed around from person to person?  Everyone has their own ideas.  They might include:

Taking vitamins (Doing this)
Using essential oils
Getting your flu vaccination (Yep, this one's done too)
Making sure you have cough and cold medication on hand (Pretty sure I'm good here too)
Drinking lots of water (Uh oh... I definitely need work here)
Getting lots of rest (Ummm... well, I try)
Healthy eating (Refer to my comment on drinking water)
Staying away from people, especially the sick ones (Not practical in my line of work)
...and the list goes on....

Now these are all good things.  They are things to help us stay healthy, but I want to share with you what I believe to be the #1 way to protect yourself and your family from those nasty little bugs.  The first line of defense so to speak.
     Ready?
                     Are you sitting down, because it's a biggie?
                                                                                               Here goes....

Wash your hands!!!

Who would have thought that something our mommas taught us so long ago that we don't even remember being taught would be so valuable?  Unless you are a miser who never goes to see anyone or buy anything, you can not avoid those nasty germs.  They are everywhere... at church, at school, in the supermarket.  Good hand washing is so vital.  So what does good hand washing involve?

The first method is using good old fashioned soap and water.  If you are using soap and water a full 15-20 seconds is needed.  Have you ever thought of how long that is?  It is about how long it takes to sing "Happy Birthday".  Here's a little ditty I wrote to teach preschoolers how long to wash and it follows that tune.
Wash your hands everyday
While at home, school, and play.
Scrubbing for 20 seconds,
Helps to chase those germs away.

The other method is to use a hand sanitizer.  This is what I use most often at work and when I'm out in the community.  There are a couple of benefits to using sanitizer.  The first is that it's very portable.  You can buy a large bottle and several small ones to refill.  You can even buy some that are scented like your favorite lotion (umm.. Love Spell).  They fit in your purse, car, and some even come with clips.  The other benefit is that they often are gentler on your hands.  When you wash your hands as much as I do, this is HUGE!  Hand sanitizer should only be used when your hands aren't visibly dirty.  It just won't work if you've been playing in the dirt!

Now I know with all this hand washing going on, your hands are going to get dry.  This is especially true in the winter.  So while you're out re-stocking your hand sanitizer and soap, be sure to stock up on your favorite lotion.

I wish I could say that washing your hands will keep you and your family 100% healthy this winter, but you know I can't do that.  However, put up that first line of defense and maybe you will save yourself some of the sniffles, sneezes, and coughs.  Every little bit helps.

Take time to enjoy the little things today.

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