Men's health blog

December 25, 2010

PREVENTING COLDS: WASH THOSE HANDS

Filed under: Anti-Infectives — admin @ 11:15 am

Regardless of who may be correct about how colds are spread (see p. 13), it seems wise to follow the prevalent advice: wash your hands often, especially if you are working or living with someone with a cold. Change towels and washcloths often and wash them in hot water; better yet, give each person in the household his or her own color-coded hand towel and washcloth.
Unless you have just washed your hands, keep them away from your nose and eyes. According to B. Burton, a nurse and infection control specialist at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine in Denver, Colorado, “The average person touches his face within the area of the eyes, nose and mouth about once every 20 minutes.”
Of course, if you are the one with the cold, it’s only common courtesy to wash your hands often, especially after blowing your nose, and to keep your hands to yourself. If you want to show really good manners, when you have a cold and must greet someone, refrain from the conventional handshake. Apologize and explain that you’d rather keep your cold to yourself.
It is also time to question whether it is good manners to cover coughs and sneezes with your hands. To reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others, it would be better to keep your hands away from your face and instead turn your head away.
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