Life as Lou

Welcome To Cold & Flu Season.

  • December 13, 2007 6:14 pm

We are being pretty careful with the hand washing. I know I’ve been soapy quite a few times and just the other day I hit Bath & Body Works for a few new Christmas soaps and antibacterial gels that are smell-o-riffic to entice the kids and I into frequent cleansing.

I had my five minutes of fame the other day. Did any of you guys see this MSNBC.com article the other day? It is all about hand washing- and yours truly is quoted. Twice. In these quotes I admit to both washing my hands on the fly with the anti-bac gels and not washing at public restrooms because “ew gross!” Lest you read that and think I’m completely unhygienic, I must explain. I figure that the less surfaces that I touch in a poorly kept public restroom, the better. I have heard the whole drill about using a paper towel to open doors and turn off faucets- but here’s the deal. Every time a toilet flushes it shoots a happy little spray of tiny drops of fecal matter with a twenty foot radius. This is why tooth brushes should be kept in a drawer and not on the bathroom counter, and toilets should be flushed with the lids down. Those “sterile” paper towels are covered in microscopic bacteria. So what’s the point? Get out of there and pull out your no water required hand santitizer.

I received an interested new publication lately. It is called the What To Expect Guide to a Healthy Home. It has a lot of helpful advice about basic home cleanliness and dispels a few myths about what is and isn’t sanitary. It is created by teh same people who brought us “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. If you click on the link you can get a free copy.

Now, of all the germaphobic habits you’ll hear people discuss, there is one thing that I just could never do. Do you hover when you pee at a public restroom? A lot of people do, it seems, and I would love to know how they can clench their thigh muscles and release the bladder muscles. I. Can’t. Do. It. It is clench or unclench for me, germs be damned. The good news is that if you wipe any obvious fluids left on the toilet seats away, your butt and thigh area is pretty well protected as long as you take a shower later. You don’t touch the part of your body where the germs could get in to the actual toilet. It is much safer to sit, pee and flee, sanitizing after you’re out of there.

Something I am concerned about is how frequently my kids are washing their hands at school. I asked Jonas about this and he told me that they wash after going potty. I would be happy if they washed as they entered, before snack, and as they were walking out the door. Is that a totally unreasonable thing to ask? We all donated big bottles of Purell to the classroom at the start of the school year and I am totally willing to donate a few more bottles if it means less entries in the vomit category of my blog. So, would I be out of line to ask? How do your kids do it at their school?

And, now that I’ve confessed my hygiene quirks to you guys and the national media, how about some of yours? Anything share worthy? Any tips and tricks? ]]>

6 Comments

  1. Sanisi says:

    I love hearing your view of sanitary stuff – very realistic.

  2. Nicole says:

    As a former classroom teacher (who loves me some hand sanitizer!) it really is hard to get a classroom full of kids to wash their hands more often than just after a restroom break. Kids tend to like to play in the water to waste time, even during the bathroom break. My class had between 27-30 students, so time-wise, it was impossible to do it as often as I would have liked (teachers get touched with snotty little hands A LOT!) After sneezing or coughing though, I insisted that they wash their hands in the classroom sink. I also kept bottles of hand sanitizers at each group of desks for the students to use. Needless to say, despite the rules of when to use it, the stuff goes quickly. I ran out of my classroom supply of the stuff by December and I had large bottles on my class supply list as well. I am sure your son’s teacher would love to receive more without having to send out a letter to the parents asking for more. I always liked when the parents did that for my class.

  3. Dawn says:

    < ![CDATA[Yeah, total germaphobe here. In my secret santa stocking at work I received 9 bottles of Purell and one pack of Airborne. do my coworkers know me or what??

    As for school, Noah is in kindergarten and CANNOT reach the sink faucet in the bathroom by his aftercare program to wash his hands!!!! I found this out when I was picking him up one day and he had to go on the way out. I escorted him and in HORROR found the sink was too far back for his short arms! I went so far as to contact the school teacher, principal and the facility manager. (yeah OCD much??) They had the audacity to say that this was the first time it was brought to their attention. They put a stool in there briefly, but then someone fell off of it and it had to be removed! Now I send in a Costco sized vat of Purell to the aftercare program monthly and request Noah use it (and whoever else wants to) after every potty break. IWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!]]>

  4. Mom2Six says:

    Our school lines the children up at lunch to wash hands on the way into the cafeteria. They have a big water trough with three or four faucets, all turned on at once with the teacher’s key. The children get soap, then move washing at each faucet ( to keep the line moving) until they get to the paper towels. Teachers also keep sanitizer in the classrooms. The school nurse also visits each class often to remind them of healthy habits.

  5. Amie says:

    I have to admit, I’m more inclined to believe the ‘a few germs are good for ya’ theory. Plus, you can go either way on the antibacterial thing: a) no amount of scrubbing by a child or adult is really gonna get rid of all the bacteria. (Haven’t you ever done that black light test at school?) You’d have to scrub for at least 30 seconds with pretty darn hot water and you’re still not gonna get everything. b) the more germs you try to protect yourself against the stronger the bacterias will grow to break through! Mankind has survived thousands of years without being germophobic. (Americans are obsessed with cleanliness) I think we’ll survive a few more. That being said, cleanliness is next to godliness. Go thou forth and sanitize thyself. =)

  6. The Good Girl says:

    < ![CDATA[I will admit that in the past few years I have been much more of a germophobe. A couple of years ago upon visiting my gym that I was signed up with, I noticed that they used rubbing alcohol to sanitize the equipment. That seemingly simple little thing resulted in me becoming an "alcoholic". I now keep a spray bottle full of alcohol near me at all times. It is handy to spray down the toilet seat and also works as a quick instant hand sanitizer.....since in reality that is the active ingredient in common hand sanitizers.
    When I first started using rubbing alcohol, it was much cheaper than buying germ-x or purrell, but over the past couple of years they have significantly raised the price of rubbing alcohol (more than doubled), so it may not be as much as a price difference anymore. I do not know if the price of hand sanitizers has gone up or not...assumingly they have some, but I doubt that they have doubled in price. But even so, with the gels, it is not handy for toilet seats. And many of them are not a high enough concentration of alcohol to kill much. So I choose normal rubbing alcohol. You can put it in a spray bottle and spray it many places (although be cautious when spraying around wood, leather and some plastics). If it gets on some of these surfaces and is not wiped off before it dries, it can leave a white mark. Wood is the worst, the others are not much of a deal. I just make sure that I wipe the surface down and do not let the alcohol dry on it. Oh yeah and watch out for use on cuts....it may light up your world...hehe. And of course do not get it in your eyes....that burns too. Basically do not get it in any openings of your body (well besides your pores) unless you want it to burn.....basically as it says on the bottle, avoid "membranes".
    So that is my tip. Take it or leave it =)

    P.S. it also makes for a good mase...not that I have ever had to use it as that. But if it gets into the eyes of an attacker then it could buy a little time. But it does evaporate quickly, so it might not buy much time.

    P.S.S. Alittle hint for if you accidently get it into your eyes....start fanning your eyes with your hands and try to open your eyes as soon as possible, while fanning. This will help the alcohol evaporate quicker. If you keep your eyes clinched shut and not allow air in and the alcohol out, it will burn longer. Typically medical or poison control are not needed. I have gotten it in my eyes several times and in just a few seconds I am mostly back to normal (just a little watery eyes and a little irritation from the initial burning sensation)....of course for a minute or so I can still feel the irritation (depending on the amount that got into the eyes), but the irritation is mild and leaves on it's own. The after irritation does not seem any worse than getting water in your eyes, chlorine from a pool, or soap. Honestly I think it is less irritating than the others. But the best option would be to just be smart and not get it into your eyes in the first place...hehe ]]>

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