It might be cold outside, but it is in here, now, too–so to speak. With germs bombarding your living space from everywhere, your family is coming home with more than you bargained for: germs.
Whether post nasal drip is finding its way to sleeves, backpacks, door handles, or from bacteria and molds found practically everywhere, the evidence of potential illness is everywhere. In fact, a 2012 report shows that as many as an estimated 7.5 million students miss a month of school each year—all due to illness.
Here are five quick ways to help prevent sickness around the house:
Scrub those mitts
Keeping hands clean helps stop germs in their tracks, especially infection that results from touching noses, eyes or mouths with contaminated hands. Take note, however: A quick rinse doesn’t get the job done. To properly make a clean sweep of little fingers, have kids rub hands together under warm running water with soap for at least 20 seconds (about the time it takes to sing, “Happy Birthday to You” twice).
Classy Tip: In the classroom, donate hand washing soap to the classroom, and encourage your child’s teacher to make the entire class wash their hands several times per day. Dry using a disposable paper towel or dryer.
Cough or sneeze into your elbow
Rather than sneezing to the left or to the right (which can contaminate other surfaces), target potential germs into a sleeve where germs are stopped cold. Coughing or sneezing into your elbow also keeps hands free of any potential germs which might be passed along to other students (and to their parents).
Touchy Touchy: Teach kids to not touch their face especially their mouth, nose, and eyes. Tissues are a better way to catch any drippy fluids and keep the mess away from hands.
Get plenty of Vitamin C and D
Whether from oranges, lemonade, or even the cool little cranberry [link to cranberry article here], Vitamin C from naturally grown whole foods is important for everything from tooth decay prevention to wound healing, to preventing illnesses that tend to go achoo in the night. Vitamin D is an anti-inflammatory that helps boost the immune system. Look for D in salmon, tuna, sole, flounder, pork, eggs, mushrooms, beef liver, ricotta cheese, and good, old-fashioned solar rays.
Sip Tip: Use disposable cups for an easy way to prevent germ sharing in the household.
Studies show that kids need at least 8-10 hours of sleep each night for their growing bodies to repair and rebuild cells, strengthening the immune system to prevent sickness and disease. Setting a regular bedtime and sticking to it is an easy way to settle kids into peaceful slumber without much misery.
Sleep. Now, rinse: Wash pillow cases frequently, as these close-contact surface areas can create prolonged illness.
Blow off some steam
Sometimes typical cleaning supplies and conventional methods aren’t enough to safely purify and sanitize surfaces. Low-moisture vapor steam technology is already used in today’s high-tech clean rooms as a way to clean surfaces in the home eradicates germs, molds, e coli, dander, dust mites and viruses on contact. Sanitizing the estimated 345 bacteria per square inch on the toys newborns puts into their mouths, 2,110 bacteria per square inch inside the rim of the family pet’s food dish and 13,227 bacteria per square inch on the kitchen faucet handle, even the baby’s high chair teems with as much bacteria as the standard kitchen cutting board.
Surface mention: Surfaces retain germs hours after being touched, so be sure to clean door knobs, drawer pulls, keyboards, light switches, telephones, remote controls, countertops, and sinks.
How do you stave off illness in your house? Share your tips, tricks and triumphs below!
This cold and flu season, make the care complete with Kleenex® brand, and together we’ll turn a seemingly small gesture into something bigger, to make everyone feel better.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Kleenex via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kleenex.
Jana Debney says
My parents are beekeepers, and we have been taking local bee pollen every day for most of our lives. As a result, we are getting a TON of vitamins and energy, and, because the bee pollen is local, our immunity is built up to the pollen in the area. Therefore, when the pollen season happens, we are less likely to get sinus infections than those who don’t.
Dr. Shaelyn Osborn says
What matters most is host resistance. It’s not the germs that cause illness or we’d be sick all the time. Keeping the immune system strong keeps the body healthy to be able to fight off invading organisms. When the body is not well taken care of it creates an optimal environment for germs to multiply and when it exceeds our body’s ability to handle it, we get sick. Healthy body=healthy immune system=no sickness. Great tips! I’d add regular chiropractic adjustments, avoid sugar & dairy, & exercise!
Garlic is great too for keeping illness away. The active ingredient in it is allicin which one can find in some health supplements if you do not want to smell like you are trying to ward off werewolves 🙂