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The End of Flu Season Doesn’t Mean the End of Germs

Most people rack up on sanitizers and other germ fighting products during the flu season to combat the ever-apparent concentration of germs; however, once the flu season dies down they go right back to their old habits of carelessness and lack of proper hygiene. But here’s the truth; the end of flu season doesn’t mean the end of germs! Germs are everywhere, and while some can be helpful, others can be extremely harmful, especially to children or those with weaker immune systems. Since most people don’t consider the crowds of individuals that touch public items in just one day, they put themselves at a higher risk of getting sick.

The following are 5 common places that you should avoid touching with your bare hands – all year long, not just during the flu season.

Office/Public Restrooms:

This is an obvious location in which germs live. Ask your employer or the facility manager to start using touch free restroom technologies such as automatic faucets. Avoiding contact with restroom fixtures is a great way to not come into contact with germs.

ATM machines:

If you thought payphones were germ magnets, ATM machines are worse. ATM’s are like a vacation for germs- they skip around happily enjoying their flourishing environment. If you happen to carry antibacterial wipes, which is highly recommended, take a quick swipe at the buttons; if not, you should complete your transaction with your knuckles or wear gloves.

Escalator handrails:

It’s amazing how many people take escalators in various locations and don’t think about the number of people who’ve put their hands on the railing before them. Although it’s a habit to put your hands on the railings, don’t do so unless you safety is compromised. If you have to use it for balance, then use an elbow or forearm instead.

Shopping carts and baskets:

Hundreds of people use shopping carts and baskets daily, so it’s no surprise that germs use it as a breeding ground. Try to keep sanitation wipes with you or attempt to push the cart with either your elbows or the palms of hands. When carrying a basket, try to hold it on your arm, or use a tissue to grab the handles.

Door handles:

This one might seem like a no brainer, as most people know to avoid touching public restroom door handles and faucets. But, what they forget is that even private homes’ doors can host a number of germs. Whether you are in a private residence or in public, it’s important to wipe down the knobs or use a spare napkin or tissue to open the door handles.

You can’t expect to completely rid your surrounding of germs – they keep your immune system working and multiply so much it would be impossible anyways. However, you can help prevent yourself from getting a cold, the flu, or any other infection by always being aware of your surroundings and keeping your hands clean.

You should always have a set of antibacterial wipes or gloves with you to use as a barrier between your hands and germs. If you don’t have wipes or gloves, use tissues, baby wipes, napkins, or anything else on hand to clean with. Again, you should practice these techniques year long and not just during cold and flu season- unlike bears, germs don’t hibernate.

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