Thursday, December 8, 2011

Smart shopping

With holiday shopping in full swing, the malls are full of people--and germs. Keep healthy this holiday season by avoiding these hot spots for germs.

ATM keypads. The "enter" button is the worst because everyone has to touch it. Use your knuckles on the ATM buttons instead of your fingertips and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer afterward.

Escalator handrails. To protect yourself from germs lurking on these commonly used handrails, avoid touching them all together. If you do, use a generous amount of hand sanitizer afterward.

Makeup samples. It's tempting to try on the festive, seasonal products, but it's important to not use public makeup samples to apply cosmetics to you face, eyes or lips. Instead, ask for a single-use sample that you can open and throw away after you try it. Also, if you can return the product, it's healthier to buy it and try it, even if you end up taking it back.

Gadget shop. It's fun to play around with the new smartphone that is on your wish list, but be aware of the germs they can accumulate. Wipe down the product with a disinfecting wipe before trying it out.

Food court tables. Next time you take a break and refuel for more shopping, wipe down the table with a hard-surface disinfecting wipe, which you can keep a pack of in your purse.

Toy stores. They can have even more germs than play areas, carousels and other kid-friendly zones. If the gift is unwrapped, wipe it down or clean it with soap and water, alcohol or vinegar before giving it to the child. Also, it's always a good idea to wash or sanitize your hands after touching the toys.

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