Hand hygiene is an important response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing your hands with soap and water. If they are not available, you can use a hand sanitizer to avoid getting sick and spreading bacteria.
Americans find it difficult to detect hand sanitizers. However, the CDC does not recommend that people make their own product, as there is a chance that it may be ineffective or cause burns to the skin.
According to the FDA, calls for poison control on hand sanitizers increased by 79% since last year
You may be tempted to buy which bottle you can get, but not all disinfectants are the same. Since another 1,500 companies now make hand sanitizers, it is important to know what to look for and be careful about. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled several hand sanitizers due to the potential presence of methanol, which is toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. And since alcohol distillers have responded to the shortage by making disinfectants, be careful. There have been many reports of people drinking the product because it smells like drinking alcohol and is found in beverage bottles.
When browsing the store shelves or searching online, pay attention to the product labels for the following signs of an effective hand sanitizer:
- Most importantly, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol . If possible, clean your hands first, as alcohol-based disinfectants are most effective on hands that are not visibly dirty or oily. Even rinsing your hands with water first will make the cleanser do its job.
- Check the ingredient list for denatured alcohol which tastes awful compared to drinking alcohol. The taste is used to ward off unintentional or intentional ingestion. The most common calls to poison control calls are related to accidental exposure in children 5 years and younger.
- Similarly, select fragrance-free or unscented as fragrances can be used to cover the chemical odor. [1
Did you know that the food you eat can affect your overall stress? If left untreated, chronic stress can increase the risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression and anxiety. To make matters worse, you can eat poorly when you are stressed, which can lead to a harmful cycle.
Consume a magnesium-rich diet or take a supplement, if needed. In addition, here are some healthy low-stress food options to consider:
- Potassium-rich foods
- Foods rich in vitamin C
- Green vegetables
- Whole-grain carbohydrates
- Fatty fish including salmon and tuna
- Nuts such as pistachios, walnuts and almonds
If you are thirsty, reach for water or milk instead of caffeinated beverages. A hot cup of chamomile tea can also make the good hormones flow.
According to the American Psychological Association, 59% of Americans reported that the coronavirus seriously affects their daily lives. When you have a lot of anxiety, it becomes difficult to make reasonable choices. This is worrying, as many families face high-stakes decisions during the pandemic – decisions that involve health, livelihoods and employment.
If you are worried, you can consider these techniques to make sound decisions:
- Participate in a calming activity that makes you feel good.
- Recharge by eating healthy, getting enough sleep and exercising often.
- Decide what you can (and can not) control.
At the end of the day, everyone makes the best possible decisions with the information at hand during the pandemic. Go easy on yourself.
We all here at CoverLink wish you continued health and safety this year!