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While the CDC is still recommending you stay inside unless you absolutely have to go out, for some of us that isn’t an option. For those people have established some other guidelines to help protect yourself from COVID-19, such as maintaining a 6 foot distance from others, wearing a mask, and wearing gloves. We all understand why doctors and food service workers wear gloves by trade, to prevent cross-contamination, or to protect themselves and others from things they may have come into contact with. But there is a wrong way and a right way to use gloves, not knowing this could end up causing more problems.

Why should you wear gloves?

One of the ways COVID-19 is spread is through contaminated surfaces. So if you touch a surface that has the virus and then touch your face, you could possibly contaminate yourself. While properly washing your hands for 20 seconds is still the best defense, that may not be an option all the time. Some people don’t have access to hand sanitizer and aren’t going to stop and go wash their hands every time they touch something while they are out. So wearing gloves is a good way to help protect yourself. But if you use them properly, they could become useless.

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How to properly use gloves!

There are many steps and instructions that go into properly using gloves. The first is to make sure they fit right. If you are using gloves they are too small, they could end up tearing. If they are too big, it could inhibit you from being able to pick things up, which may cause you to remove the gloves. So make sure you are getting gloves that fit you.

 

Never reuse gloves. Currently all gloves are disposable, so there aren’t any steps to properly disinfect them in place. Trying to disinfect gloves at home, may not actually do anything, and could cause the material to break down, further putting yourself at risk. Make sure you are putting on a new pair of gloves whenever you are going out, or moving to touch something new.

 

Which brings us to our next step! Using the same pair of gloves over a prolonged period of time may actually cause you to spread the virus. When you touch a surface that has any virus or bacteria on it, those get transferred to the gloves. If you were to touch another surface with those same gloves, you are transferring whatever may be on them to that surface. So make sure to always take off your gloves and wash your hands before moving on to another task.

 

Do not touch your face. As stated above, once you touch another surface with a contaminated glove, whatever virus or bacteria may be on that glove to that other surface. This does include your face and other parts of your body. Some people have been wearing gloves to the grocery store, touching everything in there and reaching up to wipe their noses or mouths. This defeats the purpose of wearing the gloves. So please refrain from touching your face, until you have discarded those gloves, and have washed your hands.

 

Be sure to take them off properly. Some people remove one glove with the other gloved hand. Then proceed to remove that glove with the ungloved hand. This can transfer bacteria and viruses to your hands. So please once you have removed one glove, grab the other glove from the inside, and remove it inside out. This will help keep you from touching a possibly contaminated glove.

Wash your hands!

Proper hand washing is still the best way to protect yourself. So wash your hands before you put on your new gloves. This will ensure that you aren’t starting out with contaminated gloves. Then wash them once you have removed your gloves.

Final thoughts!

Gloves can be a great way to give yourself added protection when going out. But if not worn and used properly, it can actually be like you’re not wearing them at all.

Sources!

https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/is-wearing-gloves-an-effective-defense-against-covid19

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=abs2175

https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Glove_Use_Information_Leaflet.pdf?ua=1