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6 Holiday Tips to Avoid Germs at the Mall

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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

Holiday shopping is stressful enough without having to worry about getting sick. So many people. So many germs. The safest way to avoid germs is to shop online, but if you have to go to the dreaded mall, arm yourself with these six tips before you go shopping.

1. Get a flu shot. Sick people still have to shop for the holidays. The air is filled with germs from coughing and sneezing. Check out the nearest pharmacy. Most are offering influenza vaccines at an affordable price.

2. Avoid sickly people. Notice a sneezer in line ahead of you? Jump on another line. See a shopper who just coughed before handling that pretty sweater you had your eye on? Run the other way, there’s lots of pretty sweaters.

Of course, you can run from everything, but try to be aware of people around you. Use hand sanitizer as needed.

3. Quick Restroom Breaks. If you’re spending the day in a shopping mall, there’s no way you can avoid the public restroom. Just be quick about it. Use toilet seat covers where available and flush with your foot. Next, grab a paper towel and use it to turn the faucet on and off.

Wash and wipe hands thoroughly (you know the drill), then use a clean paper towel to open the restroom door when you leave. Last but not least -- hand sanitize.

4. Avoid escalator handrails. Try to balance yourself while riding the escalator, but if you can't, keep a tissue in your hand or, once again, hand sanitize after stepping off. The alternatives: take an elevator or use the stairs.

5. Think before you touch. If you’re shopping for toys, look but don’t touch is the rule of thumb. Don’t even think about how many runny-nosed kids touched the stuff before you. If you decide to buy, choose toys in boxes and protective covering.

6. Keep hands away from your face. Remember your mother’s warnings, “Keep your hands out of your mouth! Stop rubbing your eyes!" Mama wasn’t trying to be mean, she was trying to keep you well.

Always drop your hand sanitizer and/or anti-bacterial wipes in your purse before hitting the malls and most importantly, don’t go overboard.

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EmpowHER Guest

Good tips. They also apply for safely enjoying a great round of Uggs Slugg at the mall. What's Ugg Slugg and how do you play? For the brief rules and a little Ugg history, enjoy this humorous YouTube video: http://tinyurl.com/764wl5l

December 8, 2011 - 4:11am
EmpowHER Guest

The mall is a terribly germ infected place! The escalator, the doors, products people play with... I carry antibacterial solution with me and use it regularly when at the mall. I also got bacterminator.com antibacterial non toxic covers for my iPhone and iPad so when I put them down on a table at the food court I dont have to worry about what germs I'm bringing home with me.

December 6, 2011 - 1:31pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.