Will you catch pneumonia if you go outside with a wet head in winter?? Ever wonder what are really health tips and what are old wives' tales? Well this article from WebMD answers those questions about some common practices we do to try and keep us germ free.
Use hand sanitizer: Worth it
“Hand sanitizers have gotten better in recent years,” explains Charles Gerba, PhD, a germ expert and environmental biologist at the University of Arizona. Look for one that contains 60% alcohol. That's the amount needed to kill germs.
You don’t have to overdo it, Gerba says. Use it once or twice during a typical day, as well as after using public transportation, when you get home, or before you eat (if you can’t wash your hands).
Wash your hands constantly: Not (necessarily) worth itTurn off the faucet with a paper towel: Worth it
“The faucet handle is the most contaminated surface in a restroom,” Gerba says. Using the same towel to open the restroom door on the way out is also a good idea.
Skip the hand dryer: Worth it
These machines aren’t only annoyingly loud, but they could be hazardous to your health. Studies find that a jet air dryer spreads 1,300 times more germs than paper towels . Use paper towels if available, or air dry your hands.
Use a paper toilet seat cover: Not worth it
The porcelain throne is actually one of the cleanest spots of a public restroom because they’re often cleaned with disinfectants, Gerba says.
If it gives you peace of mind, go for it, but that thin piece of paper isn’t going to do much good, since fluid can go right through it, says Philip Tierno, PhD, microbiologist and clinical professor of pathology at New York University. But chances are good you’re not going to come in contact with anything that can infect you, he says.
Touch elevator buttons with your knuckle or sleeve: Worth it
The ground-floor button, which everyone touches, can get especially grimy, Gerba says.
Avoid shaking hands or hugging people who appear ill: Worth it
Explain that you’re not being rude; you’re protecting your health. Both experts say they avoid touching friends and relatives who are sick, especially if they’re coughing and sneezing.
Keep your fingers off your face: Worth it
Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with germy hands is a surefire way to get sick. And you may be doing it more than you realize. One study found the average adult touches their face about 16 times per hour.
Bring your own yoga mat to class: Worth it
Doing downward dog can deliver plenty of health benefits, but your yoga mat can also be a prime place for germs, Tierno says. Make sure to clean it with antibacterial wipes after every use.
Wipe down gym equipment: Worth it
Working out can play a role in boosting your immune system, but exercise equipment is pretty dirty. One study found the virus that causes the common cold is present on 63% of gym machines. Protect yourself from germs as you work out by wiping gym equipment with a towel before using it. (Tierno suggests using your own towel and marking an X on the “dirty” side.)
Wear a surgical mask on airplanes: Actually worth it!
It’s not overkill, Tierno says, especially if someone behind, beside, or in front of you is sneezing and coughing. Any further away, you’re probably safe. (JB)
After Hurricane Katrina several years ago it was estimated that over 15,500 animals were ultimately rescued. Of the 15,500, only 15-20% were reunited with their owners.
As pets are just as important as any family member to most people, it is important to make them part of your preparedness planning. Several things that you can do to make sure they stay safe during an emergency are:
Build a Pet Emergency Kit
Food - At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
Water - At least a three day supply.
Medicines and medical records.
Important documents - such as registration, adoption and vaccination papers.
First Aid Kit.
Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies, tag and leash.
Crate or pet carrier - Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. There should be enough space for the pet to stand, lie down or turn around in.
Sanitation - Pet litter and litter box, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, and antibacterial wipes.
Picture of you and your pet together - If you become separated, the photo will help as documentation of ownership and help others to assist you.
Familiar items - Not only is this a traumatic time for you, but also for your pet. By having some items such as treats, toys, and bedding close by, you can help alleviate stress on your pet.
Most important of all is to include your pet in your evacuation plans and don't leave them behind where they can be lost or injured. It is very important to have your pet micro-chipped. In the event that you do get separated from your pet, it will be much easier for the animal to be traced back to it's owner.
For more information visit ready.gov/animals and remember that SERVPRO of Champaign-Urbana, 217-355-0077 knows that not only are your personal items important to you but so are your family pets. Keep them safe and be prepared! (JB)
According to the National Weather Service, $2.84 million dollars of property damage was caused by extreme cold in 2015.
Even scarier? Fifty-three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold the same year.
It is important to be aware of the effect temperatures can have on you. The two primary conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia.
Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness.
Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss,slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit seek medical attention immediately.
To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible. If not, dress warmly in layers and try to keep dry. (JB)