Being hurdled into a major influenza outbreak is reason enough for most of us to take extra health precautions. During times like these, we find ourselves modifying our social distancing with others, frequently washing our hands, practicing a more comprehensive cleaning regiment at home and work, and watching what we touch. Our approach is geared to keep germs at bay.
According to the leading experts, the germiest things we touch every day include the following:
Dish and bath sponges
Money (coins and bills)
The ATM and other PIN pads and screens
Kitchen and bathroom towels
Because these items are regularly handled by multiple people, they are susceptible to such bacteria as E coli, Salmonella, the Coronavirus, and other contagious strains of influenza.
How does the cellphone rank?
The answer is high. One study suggests that the cellphone is covered in germs: 25,127 bacteria per square inch as compared to the following:
- Toilet seat: 1,210 bacteria per square inch
- Kitchen counter: 1,736 bacteria per square inch
- Pet food dish: 2,110 bacteria per square inch
- Checkout screen: 4,500 bacteria per square inch
- Doorknob: 8,642 per square inch
For additional details, CLICK HERE.
What are the key reasons for a germy cellphone?
Most people don’t think twice about carrying around their cellphones in all sorts of places, including the bathroom, on the subway, in the office breakroom, at the grocery store, in the park – basically everywhere. They are regularly checking their cellphones in environments that have a high concentration of germs without watching where they place them or carefully wiping them down afterwards. In addition, people don’t habitually wash their hands before or after picking up their cellphones.
What precautions can you take to protect your cellphone from harmful bacteria?
(1) Watch what you do with it.
Keep track of where you put your cellphone to prevent it from dropping onto the floor, falling between sofa cushions, or being placed onto potentially germ-infested surfaces such as kitchen and bathroom countertops. Limit the use of who touches your phone to avoid further contamination.
(2) Wash your hands.
Every time you touch your cellphone, you are passing on microbes, a form of microorganisms that can cause disease. Before you handle your cellphone, make sure your hands are sufficiently clean with the help of soap and water or a hand sanitizer.
(3) Clean and disinfect your cellphone.
Start with…turning off your phone and unplugging it from any charging device.
Wipe it off with a microfiber cloth that is specially designed to pick up particles, including bacteria and viruses. Wash the cloth after each use.
When your cellphone is extra dirty, clean it with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water (60% water mixed with 40% alcohol). Gently apply the solution with a small corner of a soft cloth and immediately dry it off.
Avoid cleaning it with abrasive products such as window cleaner, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide.
Consult with your phone provider for additional instructions on how to best to clean your cellphone.
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Written by: Patricia K. Flanigan, Smart Strategies for Successful Living
Patricia K. Flanigan has worked in higher education for over 28 years. She holds a doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne as well as a M.A. in Latin American Studies and B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before retiring and moving to Idaho in 2015, she served as the dean of online education and learning resources at Saddleback College, a large community college in Southern California. She currently consults in higher education, volunteers for AARP, writes for a local magazine, and serves as an Affiliate Faculty member at Boise State University and a contributing member to LEARN Idaho. Since February 2017, she has been the founding director for Smart Strategies for Successful Living, a community-based website designed to promote quality aging. As an educator, her focus is to inspire others to live and age well.
Tech Help: CLICK HERE
Source: Smart Strategies for Successful Living
How to Clean Your Cell Phone: CLICK HERE
Source: The Spruce
The 10 Germiest Surfaces You’re Touching Every Single day: CLICK HERE.
Source: e7 Health