As we go about our daily lives we come into contact with many surfaces that harbour harmful bacteria.

Some of these places, on which germs lay in wait, may come as a surprise to you. As Dr Mercola points out here it is not the loo seat that poses the greatest risk, it is places like computer keyboards, ATM keypads and the underside of handbags. And it turns out that US hospitals can be the germiest places too.

But the way to protect yourself against the risk of infection from germs is just good old plain hygiene with proper hand washing says Dr Mercola.

You should not use harsh disinfectants or antimicrobial soaps, just use ordinary soap.

The guidance is clear. Use warm water, use non antibacterial soap making sure you lather up well all the way to the wrists for at least 10-15 seconds. Cover all of your hands with soap, palms, back of the hands, between the fingers and under the nails then rinse thoroughly using running water.

And what are the surfaces and places that Dr Mercola says you should be aware that can carry a lot of bacteria?

  • Hospitals
  • Lemon Slices in Restaurant Drinks
  • Hotel Room Glasses
  • Kitchen Cloths and Sponges
  • Faucets and Sink Drains
  • Toothbrushes
  • Food Court Tables
  • Fitting Rooms
  • Restaurant Condiment
  • Toy Stores
  • Hotel Bedspreads and Pillows
  • Light Switches
  • Drinking Fountains
  • Wet laundry—after it's been washed
  • Escalator Handrails
  • Shopping Cart Handles
  • Handbag Bottoms
  • Gadget Shops
  • Remote Controls and Computer Keyboards
  • Door Knobs and Handles
  • Cutting Boards
  • Playground Equipment (Swings, Slides and Monkey Bars)
  • Shopping Cart Handles
  • Makeup Samples

So don’t help germs transfer from surface to surface, just wash your hands regularly. And don’t forget the children as those playground items do appear in the list.

How to wash your hands-by BurtAlert

How to wash your hands-by BurtAlert

By BurtAlert (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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