Using soap is important when washing hands
Washing your hands is a basic rule of hygiene. Yet we don’t always do it properly, if at all, which is particularly ill-advised behavior during flu season.
Respondents to a recent survey said they washed their hands an average of 87 percent of the time after using a public restroom, and 62 percent said they have rinsed their hands post-bathroom without using soap. The survey of more than 1,000 people in the U.S. was conducted by Bradley Corp., manufacturer of washroom accessories. Women are significantly better hand washers than men.
Elaine Larson, associate dean for research at Columbia University School of Nursing, said the key is to cover all surfaces of the hands, including between the fingers and in the crevices around fingernails, with a good amount of friction. Using soap is important, because it acts as an emulsifier to slip germs off the hands, she said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says washing your hands should take about 20 seconds.
Hand sanitizers are a convenient alternative to hand-washing. Pick one that is at least 60 percent alcohol, and use enough so that your hands are wet for 10 seconds so it has enough time to kill the bacteria, Larson said. Alcohol sanitizers only work when they’re wet, Larson said.
Hand sanitizers can’t kill all germs, however, such as the norovirus, a highly contagious stomach virus. Washing with lots of friction and then applying hand sanitizer can help against such resistant bugs, Larson suggests.
— Chicago Tribune
Men growing mustache for cancer awareness
During November, mustaches are much more than a fashion statement. They also serve as a focal point of an awareness and fundraising campaign for men’s health issues, particularly prostate and testicular cancers.
The movement is called Movember. Men, or Mo Bros, commit to growing a mustache throughout the month while raising awareness and money through sponsors and donations.
The idea is that these mustaches are equivalent to the ribbons people wear to increase awareness for certain causes.
Men can sign up to participate at www.movember.com, where grooming and style tips also are available.
In 2011, more than 854,000 people participated in Movember around the world, raising more than $126.3 million.
Funds go toward prostate cancer and testicular cancer initiatives through the Movember Foundation, Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong Foundation.
— Daily Breeze (Torrance, Calif.)
Hints from Heloise: What to do with old keys
I recently asked readers what to do with old keys, and here are some of the many suggestions:
Darlene in Wisconsin wrote: “As a fourth-grade teacher, I took our box of keys and used them as a creative-writing activity. Each child selected a key, then imagined what kind of door the key would open and what was behind it.”
Kim in Texas wrote: “Tie a collection to the bottom of an old chandelier instead of costly crystal drops. Use as an accent on a gift-wrapped package. Use ribbon or twine to create napkin rings (especially cute for a housewarming gift).”
Murray in California wrote: “Buy a cheap picture frame with glass and set the keys on red or black felt, and it becomes a great wall hanging.”