It is no secret that MRSA has become a real threat to the health of the public. More and more cases are showing up in the schools and in the general population. What do we do if this disease becomes even stronger? What happens if we run out of treatments for MRSA? The best thing you can do for yourself, and your family is to learn how to prevent MRSA. MRSA prevention can be the key to stop the chain of infection.
Personal MRSA Prevention
MRSA prevention starts at home. Even though you don’t know of anyone who has MRSA, or even if you don’t have the risk factors for MRSA it is still important that you learn how to prevent this deadly disease.
Hand hygiene is the single most important thing you can do to prevent MRSA from attacking you and your family. Most individuals do not wash their hands properly. You may think using an antibacterial soap on your hands is all you need to protect yourself. However, the type of soap you use is really unimportant. The way you wash your hands is the most important.
Bacteria is carried on the hands. The only way to remove these bacteria is to scrub them away. The proper procedure for hand washing is to wet the hands first, apply soap and then rub your hands together for a full 15 seconds. Make sure to rub all surfaces of the hands, including the backs and in between the fingers. The friction will loosen the bacteria on your hands and wash it down the drain.
After you finished washing your hands rinse them well under the faucet with hands pointing downward so the dirty water runs down the drain. Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet so you don’t contaminate your hands again. Dry your hands thoroughly. It is best not to share hand towels. You should always wash your hand before eating, after using the bathroom, and anytime you feel you may have come into contact with germs.
If you have a cut or scrape, you should always keep it covered with a clean bandage until it heals. MRSA is just waiting for a way to get into your system. You should also avoid contact with other people’s wounds or bandages. Never share personal items such as razors, towels, or make up.
Your best defense against MRSA is a strong immune system. Therefore, it is critical you take good care of yourself by eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise. Sleep is crucial to a healthy body so make sure you are getting at least eight hours of sleep per night.
These MRSA prevention tips are for the entire family. Teach your children proper hand washing techniques as soon as they are able to understand. Give them hand sanitizer to take to school to use when they can’t get to a sink. Explain to them how important good hand hygiene is.
MRSA Prevention in Athletic Facilities
Athletic facilities are a common breeding ground for MRSA. Athletes have repeated skin to skin contact. They routinely get cuts or abrasions on the skin which gives a portal of entry for MRSA. Athletes will share towels and other grooming items, which can spread MRSA. They may also have inadequate access to proper hygiene measures or just do not follow the proper hygiene measures.
Athletes can prevent MRSA by using proper hand hygiene techniques. Shower after exercise and never share towels or other items. Wash your uniform after each use and dry it thoroughly in the dryer to kill bacteria. It is very important that all cuts and abrasions are covered with a bandage. If you are working out in the gym, make sure you wipe down the equipment before and after each use with a clean disposable towel and sanitizing spray.
While in the locker room protect yourself by wearing sandals. Don’t let your bare feet touch the locker room floor or shower. Always keep a towel between your bare skin and locker room surfaces. It is not a good idea to let bare skin come into contact with the benches or the sinks in the locker room because MRSA can live on these surfaces.
MRSA Prevention When Out in Public
MRSA can live on inanimate objects for months. Therefore, it is important that you protect yourself while out in public. When you go shopping, wipe down the handles of the shopping carts with disposable wipes. Most stores provide these now. If no wipes are available use your own.
It is critical that you never put your child in a shopping cart without cleaning it first. Kids and babies love to chew on the handles or stick their fingers in their mouths. There are shopping cart covers you can get to protect your child. These covers should be washed frequently.
If your job requires frequent interaction with the public, you should keep a bottle of hand sanitizer handy at all times. Use it frequently. As stated before, germs are passed to others on the hands. When you use a hand sanitizer, you are decreasing your risk for getting MRSA and other germs that can make you sick.
While out in a restaurant keep an eye on the people who are preparing your food. Food preparation workers should wash hands frequently. The same person who prepares your food should not be running the cash register and handling money. If this is unavoidable, the food preparer should be wearing gloves while handling your food.
Always wash your hands after using a public bathroom. Be careful not to touch the faucet with your hands after you finishing washing. Use a paper towel to turn off the water. It is critical that you wash your hands before you eat. You have no idea what types of germs you have come into contact with during the day. In most cases, good hand hygiene will be enough to protect you from MRSA in the community.
MRSA prevention is critical. Keep these tips in mind and help your family develop good MRSA prevention habits.