Everyone does it – that smart phone goes everywhere, even the loo!
But what are the risks?
If you take your phone to the toilet then you risk getting it covered in germs (or dropping it down the loo)! However, for many people this may be the one time they can have a sneaky look at their messages when at work, and I doubt people will take much notice about not taking it to the loo.
So what can be done to reduce the risk if you really must take it to the loo?
Journey of the Germ – poo to mouth!
First think about the journey of the germ – where are the germs, how will they get on your phone and how could they then get into your mouth?
In the loo there will be other people’s germs (from their intestines – poo) on the seat, loo flush handle or button and loo roll holder, and the door to the cubicle. These germs could include anything from norovirus to Salmonella.
You don’t want them on your phone and more importantly you don’t want them on your hands or in your mouth.
Also, to put it bluntly, germs go through toilet paper, so after you have finished on the loo, your hands are dirty, which is why you wash them afterwards (you do don’t you?).
Even if you are not showing any symptoms of illness, you can still be carrying viruses or bacteria that could make other people ill.
What happens if you have dirty hands from using the loo and pick up your phone?
If your hands are dirty, and contaminated with viruses or bacteria, and you pick up your phone after using the loo, then you will be transferring your germs and any others your hands have picked up onto the phone, and then back on to your hands even if you wash them after coming out of the toilet.
The germs can then go either straight into your mouth (nail biting, eating crisps etc) or from your hands to food (making a sandwich) or onto any surface where the phone goes.
Share your phone with someone and you could be sharing out all the germs you picked up from the toilet.
To stop this journey of the germ from poo to mouth, then here are some tips if you really insist on using the phone in the loo!
Let me make it clear – I’m not advocating using phones in the loo, but just being realistic about what people do!
- Keep the phone in your left hand
- Don’t touch anything else with your left hand
- Use your right hand to wipe your bum, flush the loo and touch the door handle. Put your phone in your pocket or handbag with your left hand and then wash both hands thoroughly.
- Pick up the phone again with clean hands!
Sounds like a bit of a performance, so it may be easier to just put the phone away for a few minutes, although the back pocket of jeans is not such a good idea, as that is how phones often fall into the loo!