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Terrified of Public restrooms?

Terrified of Public restrooms?

  • December 5, 2018
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In India, using public toilets was a nightmare over the last two decades. Things have improved significantly in the urban areas. However, there are quite a few health hazards one needs to worry about in form of spread of infections, bacterial, viral and fungal.

So it is quite important to follow certain precautions and practice etiquette while using public toilets, right from your entry to the lavatory to the exit.

A few things to do…

Always try to carry your own tissue papers,wet wipes and hand sanitizers with you.

While opening the door
Avoid touching knob of door as it carries germs. Try to open door with your elbow or shoulder. If one has to touch knob, then use tissue paper while making contact.

When to flush toilet
One should flush the toiler before and after use. Always close the lid before flushing as micro droplets of water can spray in air upto 6 feet and cause germs to spread. Turn your back to commode and cover your mouth and nostril.

Taking care of belongings
If somebody is with you preferably hand over your belongings for them to hold. If you have to carry them with you, try to hook it behind the door. Never keep them on toilet floor as it’s the dirtiest area where germs accumulate after each flush and with footwear too.

Type of toilet
Indian toilet is a better option for public restrooms as skin does not come in contact with seat. If it is a western facility, hover over the seat. If you have to sit on it follow certain rules I will highlight ahead.

Seat safety
Visual inspection of seat is must to see any stains or residue of urine,stools etc. Wipe seat with tissue paper, cover seat area which comes in skin contact with tissue paper. After use again wipe seat with tissue paper for next user. Throw papers in dustbin only.

Washing the privates
Faucets of water, buckets and mugs will have maximum germs. Hold faucet with a wad of tissue and use spray from front to backside of body. Avoid using water from bucket. Use tap water or wet tissue for cleaning.

Your hands
Start tap with wad of tissue. Use liquid soap preferably and wash hands for minimum 15 to 20 seconds. If toilet has facility of hot water then use it as a preferred option. Prefer using paper towel over dryers to dry hands. 

While exiting
Use hand sanitizer immediately before touching anything else. It will minimize infection spread outside toilet area.

Most important is to lodge complain with facility providers if toilets are dirty. It is our responsibility as citizens of India to keep public property safe. Follow safety habits to keep others free from diseases.

About the Author

Dr. Neeti Upasani
SRV Mamata Hospital

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