When it comes to the flu, no one wants to catch it but many people feel uncertain about how to prevent it. While there is no guarantee that you can beat the flu bug this year, we’ve pulled together 7 ways to flu proof your home that will certainly help tip the odds in your favor.
Somewhat controversial, are still one of the most recommended ways to flu proof your home. There are four types of seasonal flu vaccines and the CDC recommends anyone over the age of six months get an annual flu shot. Consult your physician to determine which of the four types of flu shot will work best for you and your family. If you have had a negative reaction to a past flu shot or you are allergic to eggs or mercury, consult your physician about the increased risks for a flu shot.
Clean and Disinfect Surfaces Frequently
Per the CDC, flu germs are spread through droplets when you cough and sneeze. These airborne droplets can land virtually anywhere in your home. The flu germs can live for as many as eight hours on a hard surface. This means if you sneeze on the table and then your child comes along and touches that table and then touches their mouth or eyes, they can get the flu. It’s critical to have a regular deep cleaning routine for your home. Another way to flu proof your home is to keep disinfectant wipes accessible in each room and wipe down surfaces whenever you have a few minutes free.
Regularly Disinfect Toys
Another great way to flu proof your home if you have children or grandchildren in the house. Kids love to put toys in their mouth and cuddle with them. We sometimes forget that even toys that don’t “look” dirty can harbor flu germs which can be easily passed from child to child.
Routinely Clean Frequently Touched Items
One of the often-overlooked ways to flu proof your home is to routinely disinfect frequently used items. Flu germs can hide on surfaces that don’t look dirty but which are touched often by just about everyone in the house. Make it a habit to regularly disinfect items such as TV remotes, doorknobs, faucets, and game controllers, and phones.
Give “Hot Spots” Special Attention
There are many different items in the kitchen and bathroom where flu germs and other viruses like to hang out. Give these “hot spots” special attention any time you are cleaning but especially during flu season. If you use sponges in your kitchen or bathroom, disinfect them in the microwave for one minute on high. For those who know what a germ hangout sponges can be, throw out the sponges. Wash dishcloths and washrags frequently in hot water and dry thoroughly. In the kitchen don’t forget to thoroughly scrub cutting boards with hot soapy water. Give sinks and toilets special attention as well. Disinfectant wipes in the bathroom are great for keeping the toilet tank, toilet seat, and outside of the bowl sanitized.
Close the Toilet Lid Before Flushing
Many experts believe the “micro spray” from flushing the toilet can travel through the air and end up on any surface in your bathroom. Flu proof your home by closing that lid before flushing to keep germs from contaminating your bathroom surfaces and belongings. Keep your toothbrush and other oral hygiene items in a drawer or cabinet just in case someone forgets to close the lid before flushing.
Implement Healthy Habits
To flu proof your home and stop germs from spreading to others in your family. Healthy habits to stop spreading germs include, cough or sneeze into your sleeve/elbow. Wash hands frequently, especially upon arriving home and prior to cooking food. Use hot water to wash dishes, to clean floors, and to wash laundry, especially during flu season or if someone in the house has the flu. When someone has the flu, all they want to do is cuddle up with a cozy blanket and hunker down. But that cozy blanket, comfy pajamas, and those forgotten tissues can be a breeding ground for germs. Discard those used tissues frequently. Wash blankets and pajamas often in hot water and detergent and dry on high heat to keep germs from spreading.
Which of these 7 ways to flu proof your home will you try this season? Do you have other tips for keeping germs at bay that have worked well for your family? Let us know in the comments below.