How should we take care of our PPE?
We all need to take care of our personal protection equipment (PPE) so it will take of us, so we thought we would write a useful guide that offers some tips from our own experience. These should be used in conjunction with the manufacturer’s instructions which should be adhered to first.
Choice of PPE
There is a wide range of masks and other protective equipment available to us now with the option of single-use and re-usable items. With a wide variety of mask designs that offer a range of protection levels from basic through to medical-grade masks. There are also face shields, aprons and gloves which are also available in a variety of options and grades.
The choice of PPE is largely down to your situation and how you are going to use it and where. Whatever you choose to use it is worth knowing how to care for it and dispose of it.
Ready to go packs
One of our handy tips is to have a small pack of PPE ready to go whenever you leave the house or in your car so that you are always prepared. This pack could include face masks, hand sanitiser, gloves, wipes or disinfectant and tissues.
How should I handle my face masks?
Before and after handling your face mask, it is advised that you should wash your hands or sanitise them. If you need to readjust your face mask or touch under your face mask, then you should clean your hands again. You should avoid touching the face mask as much as possible whilst wearing and removing it and if possible handle it using the ties or loops.
Used face masks should be either disposed of safely or stored in a sealed bag or container until they can be disposed of or washed if they are reusable.
How do you clean your face mask?
If you have a re-usable cloth face mask, then you can wash it in your washing machine on a hot setting using your normal washing detergent or in warm soapy water after each use. The face mask must be fully dry before using it again for it to be effective. It is also beneficial to store them safely in an individual bag or container until you need it.
How should I dispose of my PPE?
As with the handling of the face masks, any PPE items should be handled with care once they have been used and disposed of appropriately. Disposable items should be binned at the earliest opportunity and be treated as if they carried germs, so if you don’t have access to a bin place the items in a bag to dispose of later.
Taking care of your hands
Hand cleanliness is essential during this pandemic as our hands are probably the biggest carrier of germs whether that is transmitting the virus yourself or picking it up on anything we touch. As many as one in three people with Coronavirus is asymptomatic, so we are advised to act as if we have it and be cautious of what we handle and breath on. Likewise, we are probably in contact with more people than we think with the virus, so we should clean our hands frequently and consciously reduce the number of times we touch our face.
As a result of washing our hands more and using hand gel, our hands are getting dry and sore. A few tips to help this include ensuring you wash the soap thoroughly off your hands as soap dries out your skin, also dry your hands thoroughly after washing them and apply hand cream regularly to help regain the lost moisture. It may also be worth carrying your own hand gel if you are sensitive to some of the ones used in the places you visit.