How to Care for Someone Without Getting Sick (cont.)
Your arsenal should include:
As soon as someone in your house shows symptoms, keep your distance from their coughs, sneezes, and objects they touch. Janse, who is a freelance writer and trade book editor in South Florida, says:
Hand Washing, Hand Washing, Hand Washing
The experts who talked to WebMD echo what you've heard before: Frequent hand washing is the single most effective way to prevent catching a communicable disease. Guidelines from the CDC recommend washing:
To wash properly:
The Antibacterial Soap Debate
Antibacterial soaps kill germs on contact while ordinary soap releases germs from the skin so they're washed down the drain or wiped off on towels. The jury is out on whether antibacterials, which now account for one-third of the soap market, are more effective against germs than soap and water. Manufacturers claim they are, but a recent CDC study of 224 households over a one-year period showed that antibacterial users were no healthier than soap users.
The jury is also out on whether overuse of antibacterials promotes development of super-germs resistant to antibiotics. The FDA will hold hearings to address both questions.
Every Day Is Wash Day
Containing illness is hard work. Janse advises washing towels, washcloths, pillows, and bedding daily. She also washes the stuffed animals that her 3-year-old twins clutch and cuddle.