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Month: July 2019

The Best Hand Washing Techniques

best hand washing techniquesThink about how often you (or your children) were sick when you first started school – exposure to multiple other children, as well as all the bacteria and viruses they carry, often leads to increased occurrences of illness. Now that school is out for the summer, children are spending more time at home, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t exposed to germs. Consider their time back-and-forth from the playground, the soccer field, and indoor gyms, leaving them exposed to a whole new set of germs. One of the simplest and most effective methods for stopping the spread of germs and protecting yourself from them is proper hand washing technique.

Yes! There’s a right way to wash hands! Keep reading…

When to Wash Your Hands

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer guidance concerning some of the most common situations when hand washing is a necessity:

  • Wash your hands before handling any type of food. This prevents germs from transferring from your body to your food, which others might share.
  • Hand washing should be part of your cooking routine – before, during, and after. Regular hand washing between phases of cooking can help prevent cross-contamination and food borne illnesses.
  • Wash your hands after touching any type of bodily fluid, your own or anyone else’s. For example, wash your hands after changing your child’s diaper or after caring for someone who is sick and vomiting.
  • Hand washing can also prevent the spread of germs between people and their pets. Wash your hands after handling any type of pet food, treats, toys, or bedding. 
  • Wash your hands after using the toilet, treating a wound, coughing, or sneezing.

How to Wash Your Hands the Right Way

While it’s vital to know when to wash your hands, you must also know how to wash them the right way:

  1. Rinse your hands with warm running water.
  2. Apply soap and lather your hands entirely, including between your fingers and the backs of your hands.
  3. Scrub for about 20 seconds. An easy way to time this is to hum or sing the “Happy Birthday” song in your head while you wash.
  4. Rinse your hands well.
  5. Dry them with a clean cloth towel, paper towel, or air dryer.

Staying Clean When Hand Washing Is Not an Option

Surprisingly, many people simply forego hand washing when it seems like it’s not feasible. If you find yourself outdoors for an extended amount of time or you use a portable restroom without hand washing facilities, a bottle of hand sanitizer can help keep your hands clean and spread germs. However remember… hand sanitizer is not a replacement for proper hand washing.

Better Providers. Better Care.

Learn why patients have come to trust Premier Urgent Care. Visit https://premierucchicago.com.

No appointment needed.

Call (773) 891-2890.

Insurance accepted.

What Is Pink Eye?

what is pink eye - child with pick eye

If you or your child has an itchy eye that’s red and irritated, knowing the difference between pink eye, (also called conjunctivitis), and a simple allergy or irritant can be crucial. Pink eye spreads extremely easily and knowing the difference could help you identify and address an infection before it gets worse or spreads to others.

What is Pink Eye and How to Identify

Pink eye, medically known as conjunctivitis, entails the inflammation of the conjunctiva, the transparent whitish membrane over the eyes. This inflames the blood vessels of the conjunctiva, causing a reddish or pinkish coloring in the whites of the eyes. Human eyes are very sensitive and may redden due to various types of irritation. Causes can include bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxic or allergic insults.

Pink eye has a few unique symptoms:
  • Pink eye can affect one or both eyes. Allergies and other airborne eye irritants typically affect both eyes at once, (but conjunctivitis is an infection that may only affect one eye—this fragment seems unnecessary).
  • Redness from pink eye typically causes an itchy or gritty feeling in the affected eyes.
  • Conjunctivitis often causes excessive tearing.
  • Pink eye causes a crust to form over the eyelashes of the affected eyes, especially during sleep. This may actually cause the eyelid to feel “glued” shut upon waking, requiring cleaning before the person can open the affected eye.
  • Pink eye, when caused by bacteria, will have a thick, purulent drainage that can be white, green or yellow.

Prevention and Treatment for Conjunctivitis

Several home remedies can alleviate the symptoms of pink eye, such as using a warm compress over the affected eye to reduce itchiness and swelling, removing contact lenses, and proper hygiene. Depending on the type of conjunctivitis a person has, these remedies may help overcome symptoms. However, some types of conjunctivitis will require medical intervention. If pink eye causes pain, fever, or changes in vision, the affected individual should seek medical care immediately.

Conjunctivitis symptoms can appear due to allergies or exposure to some airborne irritants, such as smoke or chemical fumes. In most cases, symptoms will subside after moving away from the source of the irritation and proper cleaning. People who suffer from allergic conjunctivitis often find relief from over-the-counter allergy medications such as antihistamines For example, taking a shower after spending time outdoors and using antihistamines may alleviate the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis from pollen exposure outdoors.

For other types of conjunctivitis caused by viruses and bacteria, help from a doctor may be necessary for symptoms to improve. You should also take steps to prevent the spread of viral or bacterial conjunctivitis as they are extremely contagious. Replace any bedding and pillowcases used by the person with pink eye and have everyone in the home refrain from touching their eyes. Frequent handwashing can also help stop the spread of the viruses and bacteria that can cause conjunctivitis.

For more information on pink eye visit: https://www.cdc.gov/features/conjunctivitis/index.html.

Better Providers. Better Care.

Learn why patients have come to trust Premier Urgent Care.

No appointment needed.
Call (773) 891-2890.
Insurance accepted.