Clean and Clear

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Can you imagine tons of dirt and millions of bacterial colonies concealed under a beautiful coat of nail paint? Personal hygiene isn’t quite a personal affair. With the vast spectrum of diseases caused by the faeco-oral route, personal hygiene affects one and all. What if hands weren’t washed before cooking a meal which the entire family consumes? What if nails weren’t trimmed if before kneading the flour dough? What if the child bites up his dirty filth-laden nails?

A child should be taught to wash his hands always, before taking anything to the mouth. The thumb rule is to keep hands not just seeming clean, but actually clean off germs. A baby’s hands should be washed in a lemon bowl to be prepared by chopping a lemon into 8 slices in small amount of water.

Brushing teeth at bedtime is not a daily practice amongst most of us. The best germ cleaner is our saliva for which the peaktime is during the day. An adult produces 1-1.5 l of saliva at daytime. This secretion reduces to 10% at night, so the teeth are more prone to decay then. The residual debris of the food eaten gets collected between the teeth, and is a precursor for dental caries. In a baby, it is known as Bottle-Baby Tooth Decay Syndrome, pertaining to the decay caused by the feed taken by the baby at night.

Eating open foodstuffs could be fatal. Flies are a potent source of spreading serious infections like cholera. Milk and milk products, chutneys, salads and all what cannot be warmed should not be carried for long travels. Warming destroys bacteria. These micro-organisms are not visible by naked eyes, so the seemingly fresh may not be so. Children should be given boiled and then cooled water to drink.

Vegetables should be washed and then kept immersed in water with Potassium Permanganate (Pinki) powder for 10 minutes prior to cooking to clean off all germs. Leafy vegetables like coriander, mint and cabbage must be washed well and longer.

Ice-creams are made of unpasteurized milk, therefore they carry a high risk of typhoid fever. Even treated water like with Aquaguard or RO has a shelf life for just 24 hours, therefore should not be kept longer, and must be consumed fresh.

A strict handwashing routine, a daily workout, a good sleep-wake cycle inclusive of 6-7 hours of sleep, a nutritious balanced diet and most importantly, a positive and happy mind is all what makes a healthy individual.

Our basic knowledge of health and hygiene re-inforced to us and our children repeatedly, go a long way in preventing us and our family against infections, especially water-borne.

An ounce of prevention is much better than a pound of cure!!