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Most people are aware of the increased potential to get sick in the fall and winter months thanks to all the germs that spread indoors. And while we could all seriously help to prevent that by cleaning areas around our homes that are touched frequently by multiple people (light switches, doorknobs, buttons on electronics, etc.) — there are still lots of other germ-filled items that can be easy to completely forget about cleaning.

Since some of these items are ones that we use every day (or even several times a day), they should probably be cleaned at least once a week, but as often as daily for some. How many of the following cold weather items are you forgetting to clean as the days, weeks and months go by?

1. Gloves/Mittens

Number one on the list definitely goes to the one item that goes on our hands. Most of us don’t wash our hands before slipping our gloves or mittens on, so anything that’s already on our hands gets transferred to the fabric inside them. And then of course there are all the things we happily touch while our hands are covered, transferring more germs to the outer part of our gloves and mittens. Throw them in the wash at least once a week to kill germs both on the inner and outer layers.

2. Hats

Hats are one of those items that, like gloves and mittens, we don’t think to wash very often. But we touch them with our hands a lot when pulling them over our heads and taking them off, and then we stuff them in our coat sleeves (along with those germ-filled gloves/mittens), where any bacteria may be able to thrive due to the warmed up/possibly sweaty coat fabric from our body heat. Gross! Throw them in the wash again once a week along with your gloves or mittens.

3. Scarves

Depending on how cold it is outside and how you wear your scarf, this stylish winter item can quickly turn into something that resembles more of a handkerchief as it becomes covered in snot and saliva when we use it to cover our mouths and noses from the cold. While you may not get sick from your own snot and saliva-soaked scarf if you’re healthy already, you still make it easier to spread any germs that you pick up from somewhere else.

4. Coat Pockets

Our coat pockets are the treasure troves of all the small, germy things we touch. We stick our used tissues in there, our change that have been touched by all sorts of other people’s hands, our smartphones and our keys. If you’re going to keep stuff in your pockets, make sure you empty them every so often and throw your coat in the wash with the pockets turned inside out so they can be cleaned out more thoroughly.

5. Throw Blankets

We all love to keep a throw blanket near the couch or lounge chair during the colder months, but how often do any of us remember to wash it? Since multiple people probably use it to snuggle up to a good Netflix marathon every now and then, the potential for it to become covered in all your family members’ snot, saliva, food spillage, pet germs and all sorts of other disgusting stuff is pretty high. Next time you do a load of laundry, remember to throw your throw in there too!

6. Chapstick/Lip Balm

The dryness of fall and winter is often a sign to step up the moisturizer, and chapstick or lip balm quickly becomes something many of us reach for multiple times a day. While it’s always a good idea in general to replace tubes and tubs of chapstick or lip balm anytime after they get kind of old, you may want to think about doing it sooner if you frequently use your unclean fingers to take swabs of it and transfer it to your lips.

7. Thermos/Mug Handles

Last but not least, thermoses and portable mugs that we take with us on the go may not be getting as thorough of a cleaning if you simply hand wash the parts that hold food/beverage and the parts that touch your mouth. If you’re in a hurry, it can be easy to forget to wash the handle and outer areas of the thermos or mug too, which can have germs that made their way there from your hands. Make sure you cover all areas when you handwash your thermoses and mugs, or better yet, throw them in the dishwasher (as long as they’re dishwasher safe).

SOURCE: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/7-cold-weather-items-youre-forgetting-to-clean.html

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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