Make washrooms infection-free

BY: Hannah A. Amoah

As we all live  with others we are bound to share certain things with others. It is very common for children, especially those in the boarding house, to share toilets and bathrooms with their colleagues.

Even older people at workplaces and their homes share washrooms. Even though you are bound to share these things, most people do not keep places of convenience clean. Some urinate, spit or soil the toilet seat without cleaning it. That creates an eyesore for other users.

This behaviour makes other users open to infections. The most common infection that one can pick up from untidy washrooms is fungi/yeast infection, commonly known as white or candida.

According to a medical practitioner, one could also pick up bacteria infection from such unclean environments. He said symptoms of the infection could be detected early in males, while for females it could take sometime, and if care was not taken, the bacteria could travel to the womb and affect one’s fertility.

There are some students who are afraid to use the toilet for fear of infection. Such students tend to avoid drinking adequate amounts of liquid to keep them from visiting the washroom. If this habit persists for more than a few days, bladder infection may develop and cause you to absent yourself from school or work.

While it is true that urinals and toilets can be a source of germs or infection, if used properly, you can prevent such infections. There is the need for you to practise good personal hygiene when using the toilets both at home and outside.
Immediately you use the washroom, you should learn to wash your hands with soap and water to avoid infection.

Here are some steps you need to follow to avoid infection.

•    The water in the bowls of every public toilet and urinal probably contains bacteria. So the first step in the safe use of these facilities is to flush them both before and after you use them. By doing so, the water into which urine or waste is deposited will at least be clean and unlikely to splash germs onto your buttocks or genitals. Flushing after you use them is very important because it will make the toilet clean and a courtesy for those who will use it after you.

•    Most germs, including HIV, cannot live on a dry toilet seat. If the seat is wet or dirty, you should thoroughly clean with a wet paper towel and then dry it well before sitting on it. Even draping toilet tissue or using toilet seat covers will not help protect you from a wet or dirty seat. All of that waste will just soak through and end up on your skin anyway.

•    A lot of boys and men do not understand the safe use of urinals.
It’s just as important to flush before use, as it’s more likely that water bowl contents will splash onto your genitals. It’s not uncommon to see men allow their genitals to touch the base or sides or the urinal. This poor hygiene habits may lead to infection. Little boys who can’t adequately reach the urinal without allowing their genitals to touch the toilet should either stand on a step, stool or use a low-sitting toilet.

•    If you are carrying a bag, hang it on the hook.
If there’s no hook, hang it around your neck. Researchers have found that one-third of women’s purses have faecal bacteria on the bottom.

•  You’re more likely to pick up bathroom germs with your hands than with your buttocks. Use a piece of toilet paper to flush. Flushing sprays bacteria into the air so cover the toilet bowls before you flush.

•  Wash your hands by wetting them with warm water, applying soap and lathering for about 20 seconds or the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Rinse well under running water.