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05/22/2012 05:12 AM
With summer coming along, bringing its warmer and more humid temperatures, I thought I would take a few minutes to cover the very important issue of hygiene. It is not only personal hygiene that I am addressing, but also general cleanliness in the home. Before continuing, I would like to preface this article by saying that I realize everyone has their own personal idea of what cleanliness is, and you have the right to live in your space how you see fit. With that being said, also keep in mind that keeping a clean home is directly related to keeping a clean and healthy you. It is also a courtesy to others that you may be inviting into your living space. Being considerate of a guest’s health becomes your responsibility when you invite them into your home.
With impending warmer temperatures and humidity come issues that may arise if you are not careful in taking precautions. For those of you with mobility issues it becomes even more of a danger. One of the most important dangers to keep in mind is skin break down. This can be a persistent problem that warmer temperatures can perpetuate. Showering at least one time per day will not only make you feel better, but is your best shot at keeping your skin healthy. If possible, taking a second shower before going to bed for the night is a good idea. Not only is this good for your skin, but you may sleep better and feel more fit mentally. If you find you are sweating a lot, changing into fresh, clean clothes throughout the day is also a good form of prevention. Be sure to wash bed linens often. We spend, on average, 5-8 hours per night on those linens, and if they aren’t clean or are damp etc., they can also be a contributing factor in skin breakdown.
As long I am on the topic of bed linens, I want to take a moment to address the issue of Bed Bugs. Before I do that, I want to be sure everyone understands that these little critters have nothing at all to do with cleanliness. Even the cleanest, most tidy of living spaces can become a home to bed bugs. Anyone who has watched the local news over the last 6 months will know that these little pests have been, and continue to be a very serious problem in Erie. I am not going to go into this subject too deeply, but I will provide a link below that will give you all the information you ever (or never) wanted to have on the subject. http://www.orkin.com/other/bed-bugs/ This web link will provide information, including ways to determine if you have them in your home (where exactly to check for them), prevention, and ways to get rid of them.
Going back to the subject of general cleanliness, keeping a clean home is jus as important as keeping a clean body. As we all know, ants and fruit flies become more problematic in the summer. Cockroaches are a problem year around, but the same general rules of thumb apply. Keeping your kitchen and bathroom areas clean can greatly reduce the risk of these pests making your home their home too. Empty your trash cans often, and clean the empty trash can regularly, especially if you have food wrappers and scraps in your trash. Food will decompose very quickly and attract pests. It is a free dinner for these free-loaders. They don’t help pay the grocery bill, so I go out of my way to make sure they don’t eat for free at my house. Deny them a food source and you give them far less of a reason to inhabit your space. If you use a garbage disposal it is important to clean it regularly for the same reasons. Food gets trapped down in it and begins to decompose, attracting pests. Here is an easy and inexpensive way to clean your drains and garbage disposal. http://www.howtocleanstuff.net/how-to-clean-the-garbage-disposal/ this goes for the bathroom trash as well. If you have used medical supplies or soiled items in your trash can it is very important to dispose of them as quickly as possible. Doing so will not only help eliminate household odor, but will stop these items from becoming a health risk. Keeping your laundry clean is as important as keeping your bed linens clean. Allowing sweaty or soiled clothing to lie around in piles can also attract pests. Wearing clean clothes every day is important to your skin health, so keeping up with your laundry is very beneficial to you.
These things may seem like common sense, but it is easy to forget, procrastinate, or simply not make the time to get around to doing them. Prevention and preventative maintenance are the best defense against these issues. Washing your counter tops with disinfectant, vacuuming the carpet regularly, cleaning your toilet, shower, sinks, and refrigerator are all preventative maintenance steps you can take that will help avoid health issues. I hope this has been helpful to you, and have a happy and healthy summer!
Living Well Specialist