During the holidays many are busy with celebrations, family get-togethers and lots of shopping. It is also the season for colds and flu. So, Jefferson County Public Health has created a list of the seven germiest places during the holiday season and how to stay away from the unpleasant bugs that live there. Some of them may surprise you!
- Public Restrooms. Not a surprise here. The moist environment in a restroom allows for bacteria to survive longer in sinks and on soap dispensers. These hand washing stations are covered with germs. Ironic, since their very purpose is to keep you clean. Get your soap, lather up and then, stay away! Don’t forget about the door handles. You may wash your hands, but what about the people who don’t? Those things are germy. EEEW!
- Food Court Tables. One of E. Coli’s favorite holiday hot spots. Even if the table was just cleaned, with a rag that has been used all day, to clean every table in the food court, collecting germs off of all of those tables… You get the picture. Carry sanitizing wipes that kill germs and clean the table yourself to avoid nasty bacteria.
- Escalator Handrails. Studies have found E. Coli, urine, mucus, feces, and blood on these nifty devices. Let’s look at that mucus part again. That means that the cold and flu viruses are probably there too. Avoid handrails in stores if at all possible.
- ATM Buttons. You need cash for Holiday gifts, but you don’t need all the germs and bacteria that go along with it! A recent study found more gunk on these buttons than in public restrooms. YUCK! Time for some alcohol-based hand sanitizer!
- Grocery Store Carts. Most grocery stores offer the use of sanitizing wipes. Use them. Don’t forget to wipe down wherever children’s hands can touch!
- Make-Up Samples. Studies have found that between 67 and 100% of make-up counter testers were contaminated with bacteria, including staph, strep, and E. Coli. So, stay away from counter samples. Ask for sealed samples to take home.
- Your Restaurant Menu. Considering that cold and flu viruses can survive for up to 18 hours on a hard surface, don’t let your silverware touch your menu. And, don’t forget to wash your hands after ordering and before reaching for the bread.
JCPH has a few tips to help you keep your family safe and stop the spread of germs this holiday season:
- Wash your hands. This is one of the most important things we can do to stop the spread of germs and stay healthy.
- Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you for times when soap and water are not available.
- Stay home if you’re feeling sick so that others will stay healthy.
- If you need to cough or sneeze, do it into the sleeve of your shirt, not your hands.
- It is not too late to get a flu shot! Call Jefferson County Public Health to make an appointment at 303-232-6301.
- Last, familiarize yourself with places, like the ones listed above that germs and bacteria are found and take necessary precautions.
For more information, visit us online at jeffco.us/health or click here to see our Germiest Places during the Holidays Card. JCPH wishes you all a Happy Healthy Germ-Free Holiday season!