Clean hands are important

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When it comes to health, it’s fair to say that many wheelchair users will be more susceptible to bugs, especially given the level of contact with the ground for manual wheelchair users.  Whilst clean hands are important, what can you do to help yourself?  We’ve taken a look at our top 5 tips.

1. Wear gloves

Gloves are an easy way to both protect your hands on the handrims as well as keeping your hands from much of the ground contact.  Gloves can range in price from £5 upwards.  Cycling gloves are often a favoured choice, although weight lifting gloves are also a good choice.

2. Keep anti-bacterial gel near by

Hand gelAnti-bacterial gel is a good tool for immediate protection, although it doesn’t kill all germs and shouldn’t be considered a substitute for hand washing.  Available from about £1 in most high street shops and we recommend trying ones to find the best one for your skin, especially if you react to certain chemicals.

Anti-bacterial hand gel can also come with hand cream mix, so you keep your skin soft and moisturised.  Remember that dry, broken skin can be just as at risk of germs as dirty skin.

3. Regular hand washing

Anti-bacterial gel is not a replacement for a proper hand wash.  Hot water, a good soap and a proper handwash can ensure that you keep your hands clean.  Not sure about washing your hands?  We found this WHO video that shows how to wash your hands.  If you have limited hand dexterity though, you should always ask someone to assist you to wash your hands properly before eating.

4. Wash your push rims

Push rimRegular maintenance is important and as part of this you should make sure at the very least to give your wheelchair a good wipe over with an antibacterial wipe or with kitchen spray.  If possible, a steam clean afterwards adds to ensuring that any bacteria is killed.

If you have rubberised fittings on your push rims, we recommend following the manufacturers instructions.

5. Common sense prevails

Much of this is common sense and easy to do.  Whilst clean hands are important, it is recognised that finding somewhere to wash your hands very time you want to eat a sweet is not always possible.  At the same time, keeping clean hands is always recommended to reduce risks of stomach upsets.  You should always take a balanced view.

Would you say clean hands are important?

Do you have a favourite pair of gloves or hand gel?  How do you wash your hand rims?  Let us know below – sign in with your Facebook or Twitter to tell us more.

A wheelchair user for 20 years, Dominic looks at how a wheelchair works for its user base, not the brochure.

Dominic is our lead editor.

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