Good personal hygiene is important to the individual and society. The first line of defense starts with the individual. Better hygiene practices mean a healthier society. Here are some tips:

Bathe/Shower Regularly
The Caribbean is hot and at times a very humid place. The temperature may cause someone to sweat profusely. It is important to wash away and refresh the body. Especially, private areas and under armpits. When one does not wash regularly it can cause illnesses and the odor is offensive.

Pay close attention to your finger and toenails. Long fingers tend to harbor more dirt and harmful bacteria, so be sure to trim and wash under them often. After showering, dry in between toes and around the toenail with a Q-tip. Clean and dry feet are less likely to contract athlete’s foot.

Oral Health
Brushing and flossing your teeth lessens the chance of cavities. Brushing and flossing minimize the bacteria in your mouth that cause tooth decay and gum disease. A study shows that poor oral hygiene can lead to heart problems. Another step in maintaining a healthy mouth is your dentist. Schedule regular visits for check-ups and cleanings.

Wash Your Hands
Salmonella, E. Coli 0157 and noroviruses are all illnesses caused by dirty, unwashed hands. You should wash your hands before eating and cooking, after using the restroom (it does not matter which bodily function you did), after coughing or sneezing, handling garbage, handling diapers, meat, etc. If soap and water are not available, keep an alcohol-based hygiene product.

Washing Your Hair
Washing your hair regularly removes dirt build-up that can come from sweating or dust in the atmosphere. It also prevents mites such as lice.

Sleep Tight
The body needs rest in order to defend itself. Sleep helps the immune system. Sleeping for 5 hours or less is dangerous for a body, it becomes susceptible to diseases. 8-10 hours a night is adequate rest.

Protect your family, friends, and society by maintaining good personal hygiene practices.