Mother Said - Wash Your Hands
Think health articles are boring? This one isn't, so read on - it may save your life...
Physicians and public health officials agree that the single most important role you can play in your own health is to wash your hands.
Why is this old-fashioned idea coming to the forefront again - and what does it mean to you and trade shows?
WHY is it important now?
Here are five very obvious tips to preserve your health that have taken on new importance:
1. Travel is more global. Diseases, that may be more prevalent in one country or world area, now get on the plane and sit next to you. We know that when we travel to a foreign country, we take inoculation precautions, but we don't think about foreign germs on domestic flights.
2. We overmedicate ourselves. At the sign of every sniff or sneeze, we pop an over-the-counter remedy or ask the doctor for help. It solves our immediate problem but our body builds up immunities. At some point, the normal remedies don't work, leaving us vulnerable for a more serious illness.
3. Medicine doesn't always work. Researchers are scrambling to invent new medicines to combat the Immunities, the mutant diseases which result, and previously undiagnosed illnesses. Look at the history of AIDS as an example of the "new" diseases which are around us.
TRY this Exercise:
Here's an exercise for a regular workweek and to repeat at your next trade show:
Count the number of times you shake hands, and the number of times you wash your hands. Bet it's a scary relationship. At a show you may shake literally hundreds of hand per day.
WHAT should You do Now?
Be aware of the fact that germs travel in both ways. I don't want you to be paranoid or obsessive, but here are steps you can take to protect you and others:
1. Well, wash your hands frequently. If soap, water and clean towels aren't available, use a hand sanitizer that doesn't require water. The travel size can be tucked into pocket or purse and used discretely on a show floor.
2. Use paper tissues and dispose of them properly.
3. Avoid those "sticky" places - under the restaurant tabletop or the escalator handrail.
4. At the show, only accept food that is wrapped or freshly prepared. Which means you don't dip your hand into the bowl of M&Ms, but accept the candy in a wrapper. At the buffet table, you don't double dip your cracker into the veggie dip, but you can spear the cheese cube.
5. Use common sense - make sure you and your family are up to date with inoculations and general health matters. Some childhood diseases can be fatal to adults.
Enjoy the show... and be sure to wash your hands!
Julia O'Connor - Speaker, Author, Consultant - is on the road frequently. As president of Trade Show Training, inc. she travels to speak to corporations and associations to improve their trade show expertise.