Hand Sanitizer Can Help Prevent Illness in the Fall and Winter 

 September 21, 2016

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Cold and flu season is coming up. Viruses can be spread easily from person to person, but this can be reduced by using hand sanitizer. Many schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and workplaces have hand sanitizer available for employees, students, and visitors to use to help prevent the spread of illness. People often use hand sanitizer at home and keep some in their car or purse.

Several studies have found that using hand sanitizer can reduce the risk of spreading gastrointestinal and respiratory infections. Using hand sanitizer in classrooms can reduce the rate of absenteeism among students. Many children think it is fun to use hand sanitizer.

How Hand Sanitizer Can Reduce the Spread of Bacteria and Viruses

Hand sanitizer is a gel that contains a form of alcohol that kills bacteria and viruses on the skin. Not all hand sanitizers are the same. They may contain ethyl alcohol, ethanol, or isopropanol. Make sure the hand sanitizer you use has an alcohol concentration between 60 and 95 percent. An alcohol content below 60 percent will not be effective.  Since alcohol can dry out the skin, most hand sanitizers also contain a moisturizer.

Misconceptions about Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is designed to be used after washing hands or if soap and water are not available. It is not meant to replace soap and water. It should be used in addition to washing your hands with soap and water.

Some people think that using hand sanitizer can create bacteria that are resistant to treatment, but that is not true. You are not more likely to contract super-bacteria if you use hand sanitizer.

How to Use Hand Sanitizer

In order for hand sanitizer to be effective, you should use an amount the size of your thumbnail. Put it on the palm of your hand and rub your hands together vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds. Make sure you get the sanitizer between your fingers, under your nails and jewelry, on your wrists, and on the backs of your hands.

If the gel is completely evaporated in less than 15 seconds, you need to use more. Do not rinse your hands with water or wipe them with a towel after you use hand sanitizer. This can counteract its effects.

The alcohol in hand sanitizer cannot cut through dirt and grime. If your hands are dirty, wash them before you use hand sanitizer.

Order Hand Sanitizer for Your Workplace, School, or Home

1st Aid Supplies offers a complete line of supplies that can help you create a healthy environment at work, home, or school. Using hand sanitizer can help people prevent the spread of illnesses. Make sure your workplace, school, or home has hand sanitizer available so everyone can use it often to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. Stock up on hand sanitizer from 1st Aid Supplies today.


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