Saturday, 22 October 2016

Clean hands are safe hands!

Image result for picture of someone washing handsHandwashing is the most important means of preventing the spread of germs as well as the best way to keep yourself from getting sick. Whenever your hands get in contact with germs, you can unknowingly become infected simply by touching your eyes, nose or mouth and once a member of the family becomes ill, it's usually just a matter of time before the whole family comes down with the same illness.

When do you wash your hands?
  • Before and after cooking and eating.
  • Before and after using the bathroom.
  • After blowing one's nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • After touching animals including family pets.
  • After cleaning around the house
  • Before and after visiting or taking care of any sick friend or relative.
  • Whenever your hands feel sticky or dirty.
  • When your hands are visibly soiled 
Materials needed for handwashing are:
  • Soap that can form lather(this could be a plain soap, an antiseptic/medicated soap or detergent)
  • Water
  • A clean towel
How do you wash your hands?
Prior to washing your hands; rings,bracelets and wristwatches should be removed and long sleeves rolled up.Proper handwashing should take about 15 to 30seconds.
  • Wash your hands in water first
  • Use soap and lather up for about 20secs
  • Make sure you get in between the fingers and under the nails where germs like to hide and do not forget the wrists
  • Rinse and dry well with a clean towel
  • Image result for pictorial steps of social hand washing

Good handwashing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses e.g common cold, diarrhea, flu e.t.c. Therefore, never underestimate the power of handwashing, the few seconds you spend at the sink could save you trips to the hospital.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

REST & SLEEP

Image result for picture of black man sleeping in bedWith the increasing need to work hard and even harder to earn a living, hustling has become a normal way of life, thus, making it more difficult to get enough rest let alone adequate sleep. Here is an overview of what rest and sleep connotes, factors influencing the quality and quantity of sleep, dangers of not getting enough sleep and ways of ensuring one gets enough sleep.
         Rest connotes a condition in which the body is in decreased state of activity with the consequent feeling of being refreshed while sleep is a state of rest accompanied by inactivity and altered consciousness.
Most people can fall asleep easily and remain asleep until the desired waking time. Conversely, others rarely fall asleep without a struggle and then when they do, sleep is fragmented.
No rigid formula exists for the regular intervals and duration of sleep but it is important that each person follows a pattern of rest that maintains well-being.
        Despite individual variations, recommended daily sleep requirement is as follows:
  • Infants : 14 to 20 hours
  • Growing children : 10 to 14 hours
  • Adults : 7 to 9 hours.
A variety of factors influence both the quality and quantity of sleep e.g motivation , culture ,lifestyle&habits, illness, certain medications, unconducive environment, job demands and unreasonable deadlines, extracurricular activities, academic goals e.t.c.
Dangers of not getting adequate sleep or bad sleep pattern are numerous, few are:
  • Decreased competence and productivity at work.
  • Undermined energy and reduced sense of self
  • Risk of sleep-related motor-vehicle accidents.
  • Mental illness or psychiatric disorders e.t.c

 Tips on how to get adequate sleep
  1. Have a sleep dairy : This provides more specific data on your sleep patterns over a long period of time with which you can evaluate yourself.
  2. Have a bedtime routine especially for children ,this helps compliance.
  3. Prepare a restful environment : This can be created by having a comfortable bed,clean and tight bed linens, enough bed coverings, desired temperature of the room, adequate ventilation, quiet room,for some it could even be a certain smell or fragrance.
  4. Having a warm bath before going to bed.  Back rub or body massage too helps
  5. Eat appropriate bedtime snacks and beverage that can promote sleep e.g toast, crackers, a glass of fruit juice. Always avoid bedtime foods & beverages that interfere with sleep.
  6. Get your mind off work or work related issues especially when you want to go to bed.
  7. Think about sweet memories or reminisce on good and lovely things.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Do you have foul smelling breath?

Image result for picture of a man with halitosisHalitosis is popularly known as bad breath or foul smelling breath or breath that has unpleasant odor ,this odor can occur from time to time or it can be long lasting depending on the cause. It is usually caused by breakdown of food. Millions of bacteria live in the mouth particularly on the back of the tongue and when there is a build up of bacteria,toxins are released which make an individual's breath to smell. These bacteria are also responsible for tooth decay, gum disease e.t.c.

 Halitosis can be caused by a variety of factors namely:
  • Poor dental hygiene : Food trapped between the teeth will be broken down by bacteria resident in the mouth,so, improper or infrequent brushing and flossing of the teeth can lead to foul smelling breath.
  • Fasting or severe dieting : Abstaining from food for a prolonged period of time can also cause bad breath.
  • Smoking or use of tobacco : This stains the teeth ,irritates the gum , reduces sense of taste and ultimately makes breath smell.
  • Dry mouth : Lack of saliva can cause more bacteria than normal to build up in the mouth.
  • Diseases : Some underlying medical conditions can also predispose an individual to bad breath e.g kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes mellitus e.t.c.
  • Respiratory tract infections : Infections affecting the nose, throat , sinus or even the lungs can cause foul smelling breath.
  • Certain foods with strong flavors : Food particles from foods like ginger, garlic ,onions e.t.c can aslo induce bad breath.
  • Certain medications : Some types of drugs can also produce breath with unpleasant odor
  • Infections in the mouth : For example cavity in a tooth, tooth decay , gum disease.
  • Halitophobia : Certain psychological condition when people think they have bad breath when they do not have.
Halitosis can be prevented and managed in the following ways:
  1. Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice in a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss (in between the teeth) daily.
  2. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash if necessary.
  3. Avoid dryness of your mouth.Drink water regularly.
  4. Visit the dentist regularly (preferably every 6 months) for dental check-ups.
  5. See your dentist promptly if you have bad breath accompanied with loose tooth or teeth, painful,swollen gum that bleeds or if you still have bad breath after making changes to improve your dental hygiene
  6. Visit the hospital if your bad breath is accompanied with fever ,sore throat, cough, discolored discharges from the nose.