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Preventing Illness

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To stay healthy, it helps to know how to avoid contact with things that may spread the germs of colds and flu viruses. This is a guide about preventing illness.


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By 9 found this helpful
February 28, 2012

I thought I had it down with prevention of colds, flu, and even germs from grocery carts to money. Recently I discovered one that had slipped by me. When we are at the bank, grocery, schools, or any where we have to sign receipts or our name beware of the pen.


They are every where,at the grocery or bank attacked to the handy chain ready and easy to use. When I think of every time I have asked to use a pen when getting gas etc. never did I think it is the one item which many maybe 1000's of other people have touched the same pen. It never gets sanitized, not even at the doctor's office.

While watching the Health Channel, I saw those pens have as many germs as a public restroom, spreading anything from flu, cold germs, and even skin viruses from one to another unknowing person. When I found this out, I was going to the doctor myself for a monthly appointment. I shared this new information with the staff, even they hadn't thought of it. This is in an environment where if you have a cough, they give you a mask!

Not any more, in fact if you ask for a pen now you get to keep it at the doctor I go to. Be safe and always carry your own pen for signatures and please teach your children not to share. I wish I had known this years ago. God only knows how many colds I could have prevented. After we use the pen, we follow by touching everything else from purse, to clothing, inside our cars, etc. Keep the sanitizers but please start remembering to use your own pen. Stay healthy with one more very important tip.


Source: Health channel

By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

Comment Was this helpful? 9

July 11, 2011

I know many of us have shared stories on here about being paranoid about germs and wiping down our grocery baskets, then our hands after shopping, but here's a couple some of you may not always think about.

First, after you finish shopping and load your groceries into the car, do you use sanitizer on your hands? What about the cell phone you were talking on while you shopped? Or the car keys you had to touch to unlock the car? Or the credit/debit card you used? What about the door handle you touched to close your car door after you got in? Sanitize your hands then grab your cell phone or keys, or open your door and you've put those germs right back on your hands - and you take them home with you!


I always carry disinfecting hand wipes. When I get in my car after shopping, I always wipe my hands and cell phone off, then after I put my groceries away at home I wash my hands. But in the fall/winter when everyone seems to get sick, I will also wipe off my keys before putting them in the ignition, the inside car door handle and the steering wheel if I touched it. If I forget, it never fails that I seem to get sick.

Here's another one you may not have thought about, and it really grossed me out when I realized it! We like to eat at buffet places like Golden Corral or a couple of local Chinese places. We went to Golden Corral for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. I followed a woman and child out of the bathroom who didn't wash their hands and watched them proceed to the buffet and dish up their food. It was right then that I realized that there were no telling HOW MANY people were sharing their germs with me at these places! How many people went before me and touched all of those serving spoons? The counter where you might set your tray? The silverware in the baskets? The handle on the ice cream machine? And so on. I can't tell you how much it turned my stomach to think about the fact that I was eating my meal after touching things that had been touched a hundred times by people who may have picked their nose, gone to the bathroom, changed a diaper, sneezed/coughed, or picked a chunk of meat out of their teeth - without ever washing their hands after! And you should have seen the look on my husbands face when I told him what was on my mind - I though he was going to lose his dinner right there! LOL!


So, since that moment, I never go to a buffet place without sanitizing hand wipes. We all wipe our hands and the handles of our silverware off as soon as we sit down to eat. If I forget the wipes, we all go to the bathroom and wash our hands. Golden Corral around here keeps gallon jugs of sanitizer at the registers for people coming in, I've used it before after I've dished up my food.

Here's another quick one that I just remembered. My son had to do a science experiment in school this last fall. He chose to test for germs on the things we use to wash our dishes and see what was the germiest. As a control, we had to buy new items (sponge, washcloth, and bottle sponge/brush) which he tested right out of the packaging before we used them for several days and tested them again, swabbing everything on petri dishes and letting them grow. What really amazed us is that every item that was new out of the package tested positive for bacteria. That means they were contaminated before they were ever used! Not enough germs to make anyone sick probably, but it was surprising anyway!


Anybody else have any unlikely places we may be picking up nasty bugs without thinking about it that you'd like to share?

By Lyons Pride from Tulsa, OK

Comment Was this helpful? 8

By 2 found this helpful
January 17, 2017

A wonderful tip was posted about not picking up reading material in a doctor's office to avoid germs. That jarred my memory about a tip I read in Reader's Digest about always using your own pen. Pens have so many germs, and you can really cut down on catching colds and the flu by avoiding pens that other people have used. I always have a few in my purse.

Source: Reader's Digest

Comment Was this helpful? 2

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh2 found this helpful
November 30, 2009

Winter weather causes a multitude of health problems, but many of them can be avoided with low cost, preventative health care. Arm yourself against winter problems by stocking your home with healthy supplements to your daily routine.

Healthy Eating

A healthy body can fight off illness better than any other preventative plan. Load your daily meals with plenty of vegetables to add vitamins to your diet. If veggies make you turn up your nose, opt for vitamin supplements. Then, add an orange to your daily diet to boost vitamin C, and get enough exercise and sleep.

Healthy Breathing

Upper respiratory infections can be warded off with some precautions. Many believe that breathing hot air can loosen mucus, drain sinuses, and kill air borne bacteria. If your gym offers a sauna, take advantage of it. If you feel congestion rising, try an at home sauna. If not, hot air is easy to come by. Try investing in a vaporizer, one that costs less than $20. Sit in front of a vaporizer or a bowl of steaming water with a towel over your head to focus the hot air and healthy steam towards your lungs.

Night time sore throats are caused by breathing dry air. Try running a vaporizer, especially one with liquid Vicks. Another trick for healthier sleeping is to raise your head slightly to allow gravity to keep fluids in the proper places. A little traditional Vaporub on the throat and under the nose also helps to keep things clear while sleeping.

A healthy gargle each day also keeps things properly functioning in the back of the throat. Mix salt with warm water and gargle daily or after being in crowded, germ-filled areas. No need to purchase gargling medium; salt water works best.

Healthy Skin

Dry winter air wreaks havoc on skin. Household humidifiers add water to the air, keeping skin,lungs, and all mucus membranes healthier. The problem with humidifiers is that their maintenance can be pricey. A new humidifier is available which skips the need for filters and mildew prevention, and the extra cost should justify itself in a year's time. A cheaper, more traditional method of humidifying the air is to place a bowl of water on the radiator. Wet a towel and place it on top of the heating vent to add water to the air, making sure to replace the towel often.

Moisturizers are key in the winter skin game. However, the price tags on some of them are astronomical. Here's a place where you don't always get what you pay for. Check the labels and save money on generic moisturizers; look for shea butter or soy for deep penetration and oatmeal for soothing actions.

Moisturizers that contain alcohol can be counterproductive, and unnatural scents and colorings can irritate the skin. Natural moisturizers with natural ingredients are best. Suave offers a line of economical and highly effective moisturizers, including those for sensitive and extremely dry skin. Adding fish oil to your diet also increases your skin's natural oils and overall health, as does an increase in water intake.

Comment Was this helpful? 2
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