Well, it’s official. My little man has the flu. He was such a little trooper, even when they stuck a needle in his arm and slapped a mask over his mouth. Well, he kind of liked the mask – said it made him look like a ninja. So, it looks like we’re in quarantine for a little while.
My main concern right now, aside from keeping my little one comfortable, it to prevent the flu from spreading through my home. While I was waiting to be discharged, I spoke a little with a nurse who gave me some helpful tips on how to prevent the flu from spreading to the rest of us, if it hasn’t already.
Here’s what she had to say…
Cover Your Mouth and Nose
The influenza virus is most commonly spread through droplets of infected saliva and mucous expelled during coughing and sneezing. If you’re the one that’s sick, you can help prevent the flu from spreading to others by covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze and cough. You can also wear a ninja mask, but it shouldn’t be necessary if you confine yourself to your home.
Handwashing! Handwashing! Handwashing!
Wash your hands frequently to help prevent the flu, even if you aren’t the one who’s sick. The influenza virus can also be spread to you when you touch surfaces that has the virus on it. This can include everything from bathroom faucet handles to light switches. To prevent the flu from spreading, you should wash your hands well – think scrubbing – with warm water and soap. A little hand sanitizer can also be used in conjunction with handwashing to help erradicate these germs and prevent the flu from spreading to others.
Clean Those Surfaces
You can also prevent the flu from spreading to other household members by cleaning the aforementioned surfaces. Anything that is touched frequently should be cleaned with a disinfectant cleaner. This includes surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, kitchen and bathroom faucet handles, countertops, remote controls, video game controllers, phones, and hand rails.
Don’t Touch Your Eyes, Nose, or Mouth
If you’ve inadvertently gotten the influenza virus on your hands, the surest way to contract it is by touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. So, to prevent the flu, don’t touch these areas at all.
Disinfect Your Oral Hygiene Items
Tooth brushes and other oral hygiene items can harbor massive amounts of germs. These germs can transfer between toothbrushes and onto surfaces, like toothbrush holders. Keep the family members’ toothbrushes separated, and disinfect them between uses by soaking them in hydrogen peroxide. Hard surfaces that come in contact with oral hygiene products can be disinfected with a solution of one part water and one part alcohol. When the flu has passed, all members of the household should also get new toothbrushes as well.
Disinfect Your Medical Items
Germs can linger on items like thermometers and medicine dispenser cups. Prevent the flu by disinfecting these items immediately after each use. You can use an alcohol solution, hydrogen peroxide, or even hot soapy water.
Wash Clothes and Bedding in Hot Water
To help kill germs and prevent the flu from spreading, wash clothes and sheets in hot water and detergent. If possible, consider also adding the recommended amount of chlorine bleach to each load as well. This will help kill additional germs that can linger on fabrics.