This year’s nasty flu season means sniffles, sneezes, and general feelings of blah. For some, it also means missed work and missed school.
I dealt with some nasty illness in my home last year, and this year was no different. The Girl One was down during her entire Christmas vacation with the mystery illness. Fortunately, the rest of us have some pretty healthy immune systems, and I took some steps to keep the illness from spreading.
If you’re facing the flu or even a nasty cold, make sure you take some steps to keep illness from spreading in your home.
Wash Those Hands!
Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands! Then, when you’re done washing your hands, go ahead and wash them again, just to be on the safe side. If you’re sick, washing your hands gets rid of germs that you can transfer to other surfaces. If you’re not sick, washing your hands can get rid of germs that you may have picked up from surfaces.
Cover Your Nose and Mouth
Saliva and mucous droplets infected with germs can travel an amazing distance, which can infect others. Anyone who is sick should cover their nose and mouth when they cough or sneeze to prevent this. Surgical masks come in handy for preventing nasty flu germs, but the crook of your elbow or tissues will work just as well.
Don’t Forget Surfaces
No matter how much you wash your hands or cover your mouth, cold and flu germs will still find their way to surfaces. Use an antibacterial spray to clean any non-porous surfaces that are touched frequently, including doorknobs, tables, doorjambs, light switches, faucet handles, countertops, remote controls, video game controllers, phones, and hand rails.
Avoid Touching Your Face
The face is a perfect doorway for germs to enter the body. Actually, it’s more like three or four little doorways—mouth, nose, and eyes. To help keep illness from spreading in your home, avoid touching your face as much as possible. Keeping little ones from touching their own faces, especially when putting things in their mouth is a hobby, will be difficult, but it could keep them from getting sick.
Do Laundry Frequently
I know, I know—you do enough laundry! But, doing a few extra loads of laundry can keep illness from spreading in your home. Use hot water and detergent to wash items like clothes, sheets, blankets, and towels, which will help wash away and kill cold and flu germs.
Quarantine and Disinfect Toothbrushes
Toothbrushes can hang onto tons of germs. Keep illness from spreading in your home by quarantining sick family members’ toothbrushes. This can help prevent germs from spreading to healthy family members’ toothbrushes. A sick person’s toothbrush should also be disinfected after each use by soaking it in hydrogen peroxide and all surfaces that any toothbrushes touch should also be disinfected with peroxide, alcohol, or a bleach solution. Every family member should also replace their toothbrushes after the illness has passed to prevent a recurrence.
What other tips do you have to help keep illness from spreading in your home?