Clean, clean, clean! Even in public places

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Clean, clean, clean! Even in public places
Clean, clean, clean! Even in public places

Even though the risk of infection in public restrooms is minimal (about 5%), many mums feel the need to take certain precautions when using them. More protection isn't bad either… without making it an obsession.


Even though the risk of infection in public restrooms is minimal (about 5%), many mums feel the need to take certain precautions when using them. More protection isn't bad either… without making it an obsession.

Public restrooms don't always shine. However, it must still be admitted that cleanliness is now a real concern in public establishments which strive to respect hygiene measures. But sometimes we wrinkle our noses a bit when it comes to using them.

You must first know that for a microbe to infiltrate, your skin must be slashed or you have an unprotected cut. Otherwise, your skin forms a barrier against infection. This is your personal defense. However, hehappens – too often still – that the cleanliness of toilets remains to be desired in public places. We must then be more vigilant and preserve our personal hygiene.

  • If the toilet seat is dirty, avoid cleaning it yourself. Put paper on the bezel or don't sit directly on it. A bit of gymnastics is needed, but we're getting there! We support our little ones who learn potty training or wash their hands very well afterwards.
  • Flush the toilet by holding toilet paper with your hands.
  • Try not to put anything on the ground.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water preferably. Wipe them. Then turn off the tap with the paper you just dried your hands with.
  • If you can, open the bathroom door with paper too. “Indirect transmission (of bacteria) occurs through inanimate objects on which microdroplets settle. Some viruses can stay alive for up to two hours,” noted Le Soleil in an article titled “Quebecers Unconcerned About Germs” in October 2005.

And you, what are you doing?

Is antibacterial soap better?

There is no research to recommend the use of antibacterial soaps and detergents instead of regular soaps and detergents.

“In March 2004, the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine published the results of a very interesting study conducted among 238 New York households with at least onepreschooler. The researchers had given regular soap and detergent to half of the families, and antibacterial soap and detergent to the other half. After 48 weeks, they observed no difference in symptoms of infectious diseases (runny nose, cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, and so on) between the two groups. Antibacterial products offered no additional protection against viruses for the simple reason that antibiotics do not kill viruses. »

Source: Public He alth Agency of Canada

However, antibacterial soaps that do not require water are perfect for effective hand washing in various public places: zoo, museums, grocery store, etc.


Wash 101

Effective and thorough hand washing is the best protection against infection and the spread of bacteria.

  • Wet your hands, with hot water if possible.
  • Get some soap and vigorously rub your hands together making sure to wash all surfaces thoroughly.
  • Don't forget the surfaces around and under the nails.
  • Wash the palm as well as the top of your hand and between your fingers.
  • Keep rubbing for at least twenty seconds.
  • Rinse and dry your hands well.

A good hand wash takes at least 20 seconds. Washing your hands well – and doing it often – has been proven to be the best way to preventmany common illnesses. And the same applies for children. To help them, the Public He alth Agency of Canada recommends asking them to sing a verse of a song ("Happy Birthday!", for example) while washing so they know it's not just running their hands quickly under water!

Find the kit

The team found in a “$1 store” a travel hygiene kit including 4 biodegradable towels for the toilet cover and 12 paper tissues (double thickness). Everything is presented in a pocket bag closed with a zipper. Not bad, especially for $1. Ideal for excursions and outings.

Disposable dives

To change the little buttocks of our babies, we always multiply the precautions that we use a changing table or a piece of counter near the sinks. Be aware that there are disposable changing mats designed by Huggies. Sold in a pack of four, they are perfect for diaper changes in public places. Folded, it's no bigger than a paperback! – you will save yourself a lot of hassle. Once unfolded, it covers a large area (51 X 76 cm) and the underside is made of a non-slip waterproof surface that keeps it in place… even when baby is fidgeting! The surface of the top is soft and well absorbent for an efficient and mess-free diaper change! A way to protect against unhygienic surfaces while simplifying our lives! Welove it!Huggies - 4-pack for 3, $99

Useful accessories

Some effective accessories that allow us to ensure a minimum of cleanliness wherever we go.

  • Instant disinfectant and alcohol-based antibacterial – they are sold everywhere in different formats.
  • Tissue papers – always a good supply!
  • Wet pads – many are sold in “travel” sizes that fit easily in your diaper bag and even your purse!

Did you know…

  • November 17 is International Toilet Day? The very serious British Toilet Association awards each year a list of the cleanest toilets in the country! (La Presse, November 19, 2005)
  • Only one-third of Quebecers wash their hands regularly to avoid the risk of contamination by bacteria and viruses? (The Sun, October 30, 2005)
  • A kitchen towel has more bacteria per square inch than a toilet seat (7 billion versus 49!). Office phones follow, not too far behind, with 25,000 bacteria per square inch. (The Sun, October 30, 2005)


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