Once one family member starts exhibiting the symptoms of a fall/winter cold or flu, it often doesn’t take long before you have your own mini-epidemic on your hands. But it doesn’t have to be that way, especially when you follow these five simple tips for keeping those colds and flus at bay.
Disinfecting: A quick wipe on high-touch areas such as door knobs, light switches, faucets, remotes, and railings will minimize the spread of germs that live on surfaces. The stomach flu can live on hard surfaces for months! You can use vinegar to disinfect surfaces, too, but that may only kill 80-90% of viruses and mold. Bleach, on the other hand, kills 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and mold.
Cover a cough/sneeze: Covering a sneeze or a cough not only prevents germs from going into the air, but can keep hands clean when done properly. Teach kids to cough into their elbow instead of into their hands. This simple change keeps germs off of hands, and away from other people.
Handwashing: While some germs can survive on hard surfaces, others are spread more quickly through direct contact, like shaking hands or passing something to a friend. The best way to combat this is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Alcohol based sanitizers are great when you aren’t by a sink, but can create a sticky build up over time where germs can hang out. Even when using a hand sanitizer, hands still need to be washed with soap and water throughout the day.
Area rugs: If your family is at high risk for allergies, colds and flus, you would be helping your own cause by switching from wall-to-wall carpeting to area rugs or bare floors. These are much easier to clean, unlike wall-to-wall carpeting which grabs and releases moisture, germs, mold, and allergens every time someone walks on it. Area rugs can be picked up from the floor and washed weekly.
HEPA air filter: Although a sneeze is full of gross droplets you can see, they also produce droplets you can’t see. These droplets can stay in the air and travel around your home, but an air purifier can remove them and keep your air clean.
Why not call today and ask to speak with one of our indoor air quality specialists. These are trained professionals who can help clean up the air in your home not just for cold and flu season, but all year long.