Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hand washing: How to NOT get ickers sickers this season

Having a cold is just no fun (trust me, I've been fighting one on and off for the past three weeks). And while this isn't directly related to lady parts, heck, we are ladies, and ladies don't like to get sick. So, today I am blogging about the easy peasiest way to avoid getting sick this winter: washing your hands. Not just rinsing your hands, but properly washing them.

While most people know to washing hands after using the bathroom (yes, even when you pee!!), before eating and after touching raw meat or eggs, you should also wash hands after doing the following:
- before and after cooking or handling food
- before holding a baby
- before and after treating a cut
- after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- after touching animals, their toys, leashes, poo, etc.
- after touching garbage or trash cans
- after having contact with ANY kind of bodily fluid (including saliva).

There are countless others. Always err on the side of washing. You can never wash too much!!

You don't need to use antibacterial soap (they actually contribute to drug-resistant bacteria), any soap will do, as will any temperature water. Wet your hands, lather then up, and was them for 20 seconds. Yes my friends, 20 whole seconds. Sing yourself a little tune (Happy Birthday song twice does the trick) to keep yourself on track. Rinse, dry on a clean towel, air dryer, or paper towel and you are good to go. Hand sanitizers are fine, but aren't as good as soap and water, and should only be used if you aren't near a sink.

Happy hand washing!!


  1. Hi Professor Korin,

    Thought I'd check out your site and was inspired to comment. While I agree that we should wash our hands in the situations you listed, I would argue that you could go overboard with the washing. (Oh no, this is sounding like the start of a paper...) In my totally unscientific opinion, I think getting sick is just fine - not enjoyable, but necessary nonetheless to keep our immune system in good practice. Leading an antiseptic lifestyle hinders our body's capacity to react to germs and build resiliency. Isn't there solid evidence in the scholarly fields that kids who grow up on farms and with animals are less likely to develop allergies in comparison with kids who live in comparatively sterile households? Just a few thoughts as I procrastinate doing my final paper.


  2. Sharmistha, if you are going to procrastinate, this is a good way to do it! Getting sick and exposing kids to germs is actually important - it helps build their immune system. And for sure, our over reliance on antibacterial products has lead to some nasty resistant bacteria. But as productive adults, most of us would rather not miss time from work, our family obligations, and our life if we can avoid it. While having a cold rarely killed anyone, many people do die or have serious complications from the flu, pneumonia, meningitis, infectious diarrhea, or strep. And lets not forget things like E.coli that is easily spread when not washing hands before cooking. There is always a happy medium :)

  3. Fair enough. Here's a funny clip on the matter:


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