HOW TO KEEP SAFE IN PUBLIC BATHROOMS DURING LOCKDOWN
Today (19/11) is World Toilet Day, which aims to raise awareness of the plight that 4.2 billion in the world are living without safe access to sanitation. Having clean and safe toilets and sanitation has been brought to the forefront this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hygiene, handwashing and sanitation is a first line defense when it comes to keeping the Covid-19 virus under control. The World Toilet Summit this year will be looking at how they can combat the virus with talks from a panel of experts.
Here in the UK, we are lucky that most of us have adequate toilet facilities when we are at home but ‘Lockdowns’ have highlighted to us how important it is for public toilets to remain open and clean and safe, to allow those with bladder and bowel conditions, including those who have a catheter or stoma to continue to work, attend vital outside appointments or even just go to the supermarket.
Many public toilet facilities were closed or poorly maintained during lockdown, due to cleaning teams not being available and this left many people feeling vulnerable or unsafe. Now that we are in Lockdown 2.0, we find ourselves in the same position again. For many of us, avoiding public bathrooms is not an option but there are still ways that we can keep ourselves safe and limit our contact with the virus
Maintain the social distance
Make sure that you keep 2 metres away from the person in front of you and if it’s a small space or only one cubicle. Stay outside the building until the person in front has vacated.
Keep your hands covered if possible
We don’t mean that you should wear surgical gloves to do this. It can help to have wipes and tissues handy on you that you can use to touch door handles and flushers with.
Wear a mask at all times
If wearing a mask doesn’t cause you any medical issues then you should wear your mask even in the cubicle to protect from spray particles from the toilet bowl. Make sure that you don’t touch any part of your mask once it is on and then we advise you to change it once you’ve left the public bathroom.
Wash your hands for 20 seconds
We’ve all heard how important it is to wash your hands to prevent the spread of the virus so make sure this is possible for you to do at all times. It is worthwhile carrying a small bottle of liquid soap with you in case the facilities you are in don’t have any soap and a bare minimum, make sure you have some hand sanitiser with you.
Use a paper towel to dry your hands
It is safer to use paper towels to dry your hands rather than s dryer. An air dryer can blow bacteria and virus particles around.
Avoid the temptation to use your phone whilst on the loo!
It goes without saying that surrounding germs and bacteria can easily be transferred on to other surfaces including your mobile phone so avoid that sneaky peek of your social media whilst you’re in the toilet.
Get in and out as quick as possible
The more time you’re in there, the more likely you are to come into contact with other germs and particles but that doesn’t mean you should skip the hand washing or drying process in there. It’s just a better idea not to wait around if you’re with others but exit the toilet facilities once you’re done.
To find out more about World Toilet Day and what their aim is, you can visit the website https://www.worldtoiletday.info/