As we all know, germs are responsible for many health problems. Many people are afraid to come to the defense of themselves and their loved ones because of the risks they might take. Germs pose serious risks to our lives because they cause many diseases, such as dengue fever, cholera, typhoid, whooping cough, or polio. Most germs are picked from public places, such as toilets, sinks, tables, benches, etc., or hands and skin. This is why it’s so important to prevent them before they even appear. Here are common public hot spots for germs.
1. Touch Screens
Touch screens are everywhere these days. They can be found on phones, tablets, laptops, navigation systems in vehicles, cash registers at checkout counters, and more. However, touch screens are also a big source of infections since they are often touched without washing hands first. The bacteria that live on your finger, just like any other surface, would have no problem spreading quickly through the screen and infecting your fingertips if you don’t wash your fingers before touching the keyboard or mouse.
2. Hand Dryers
Hand dryers are another major germ hotspot since most of us use them without washing our hands beforehand. The dryer’s heat causes water droplets to evaporate rapidly and spread bacteria around. Furthermore, there are times when hand dryers aren’t used properly, causing contamination with hair and dirt particles left behind. There’s nothing worse than walking out of a bathroom only to find someone else has already used your paper towel.
3. Swimming Pools
Swimming pools may not seem like an obvious place to get sick, but the chlorine in the pool isn’t enough to kill off all germs. Germs thrive in water where the pressure is high enough to push oxygen away and keep things isolated. When you swim in the pool, you’re bringing bugs into contact with clean air which means they’ll multiply faster inside the pool. It doesn’t help when swimmers neglect proper swimming techniques. By forcing water up and down instead of front-to-back, pool water accumulates debris that could be harboring germs. You can avoid this by staying within arm’s reach of the sidewalls and using goggles while diving.
Gyms are great for getting healthy, but unfortunately, none pay attention to proper hygiene when working out. Gym equipment is usually shared among multiple gym users every hour or two, making it easy for germs carried on clothing to stick around for hours. Your face, arms, and hair will rub against mats, handles, machines, and more, and those surfaces are perfect breeding grounds for germs. Don’t let gym memberships go unused; bring your towel or wear something disposable like plastic pants.
5. Restaurant Menus
Restaurants are an essential part of American life, from casual family eateries to fancy restaurants to fast food joints. Eating out is almost considered a necessity for some families, and restaurants offer a convenient and inviting atmosphere for mealtime. But did you ever think about how a restaurant menu is made? Food preparation begins in the kitchen. Once the dish reaches the dining room, much of the work is done for each patron individually rather than taking care of the entire group together. How does that affect sanitation standards and overall cleanliness at your favorite eating establishment? Well, it depends on what kind of restaurant you’re visiting.
6. Water Fountains
Most people know that using a faucet handle takes a bit of practice to ensure a tight seal, but fewer people realize that drinking fountain pipes are easily contaminated as well. While the fixtures might appear sterile, the tiny holes and cracks that allow germs to enter the system can breed overnight. Cleaning water fountains regularly can cut down on buildup, but even if your local municipality offers weekly deep cleaning services, it won’t make much of a difference over time. To stay healthy, drink up and skip the tap.
7. Soap Dispensers
The soap dispenser on the sink next to your washbasin might look nice, but don’t expect it to keep you safe from illness. These are prime spots for contaminants to build up because they create ideal conditions for mold growth. That growth can quickly turn into an outbreak of colds, flu, ear infections, and tonsillitis. Even if the dispenser looks clean, it could still contain microorganisms that cause illness. If possible, ask management to replace old soap dispensers with ones stocked with non-disposable liquid soap.
8. Office Desk
When you sit down at your desk, you’re putting yourself in contact with various bacteria and viruses floating around in the office environment. Some of these contaminants come with the furniture itself (like desks), whereas others settle in the dust particles sitting on top of monitors. No matter where the dirt came from, there are ways to minimize the risk of catching an infection.
9. The ATM
You probably already use ATMs frequently, but do you know exactly why they remain so filthy at all times? It’s not because banks aren’t willing to invest in regular maintenance. Most major institutions have invested a lot of money into keeping their bank premises free of dirt, disease, and germs. Instead, the problem is that the interior of cash machine enclosures provides ideal environments for bacterial growth. This means that the only way you can ensure your money is safe from contamination is to use a self-service machine instead.
10. Public Transportation
As you travel back and forth throughout your day, public transportation systems like buses and trains become great breeding grounds for contaminants. They’re often packed with large groups of people who tend to spread coughs, sneezes, and flus amongst one another. For this reason, it’s important to try and avoid touching the seats or any other surface when boarding or disembarking with a sick person in tow. Also, always stand away from the doorways when waiting for buses and trains. Finally, avoid walking through train stations and bus depots during rush hour since it will put more pressure on the doors to close properly.
These are just some of the most common places we encounter germs in our daily lives. The best thing to fend off illnesses is to practice good hygiene by washing your hands before eating, after blowing your nose, and whenever you touch something that isn’t part of your body (that includes everything from steering wheels to shopping cart handles). Try to take care of every surface in your home and work area to prevent the accumulation of debris, which can harbor germs and diseases. By taking the necessary precautions, you’ll greatly reduce the chances that you’ll catch anything nasty while out in the world.