When life hands Kelly Parcher the unexpected, she reaches for hand sanitizer.
“Yes I do. I use them all the time. I have them in my purse I have the wipes in my purse and stuff like that,” says Kelly Parcher.
As we touch and feel through the day, each person, place and thing leaves a little something behind. Germs than can make us sick.
“So it’s really important - hand washing. Not only hand washing exposure to doorknobs, lap top computers, the keyboards, cell phones. People take their phones into the bathroom and out they don’t clean them,” says Dr. Mala Singh, family practitioner with Lee Memorial Health System.
Frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to avoid picking up and spreading sickness. But when it comes to germ warfare, what’s the best way to make a clean sweep?
“Hand washing with soap I think is better than using anti-bacterial,” says Dr. Singh.
Most hand sanitizers are primarily alcohol; stronger ingredients have come under scrutiny. The dirty secret: overuse may lead to resistant bacteria— making it harder to kill germs in the future.
“People are constantly using them and it stops responding then you have to have some immune response to have anti-bodies triggered up for a fight. If you are constantly using it and then when you don’t use it you are going to get hit really bad,” says Dr. Singh.
Plain old soap and water works just fine, if you do it right. Washing for at least 20 seconds, or the length of time it takes to sing your ABCs.
“While you are singing, wash your hands and when you’re done, you are done washing your hands. So time it like that and it’s about 20-25 seconds,” says Dr. Singh.
There’s still room for anti-bacterials when you can’t access water. Good news for Parcher, her go-to product isn’t a washout.
“I mean it’s more convenient especially, depending on what’s going on. If you go to a concert or something like that, an outdoor concert. The bathroom yeah,” says Parcher.