Having your kiddos back in school might seem like a relief in some ways, but having them back in school also means it’s back to germs, cold and flu season. Schools are far from germ free and tend to be hotspots for bacteria and can result in many-a-sick-day for you and the kids. Let’s face it; when one of your family members gets sick, the entire family is likely to catch the bugger too. Unless, that is, you use our handy Guide to No Sick Days. You might just find cold and flu season a little more manageable this year.
Read on, germ warriors!
Okay, this one is a given: wash your hands, people!!! It’s the easiest and most effective way to prevent the spread of disease. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention even has a campaigned titled, “Washing Hands Saves Lives.” It’s true! Simply remembering to wash ones hands throughout the day (not just after using the bathroom) prevents spreading germs to others and prevents you from getting a cold or flu virus from someone else. One great piece of advice is to prevent touching doorknobs, public keyboards or telephones. If you must touch something prone to germs, designate one of your hands as the “good” hand and one of your hands as the “bad” hand. Only use your bad hand to grab door knobs or touch things, this contains the exposed area to only one of your hands. Wash, wash, wash, as soon as the opportunity arises. In fact, I am going to go wash my hands right now!
Remember to always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t accidentally touch someone’s used gum or forget to cover your mouth when sneezing. Be conscious of things around you. On the bus or subway and someone’s cough landed right on your shoulder? Or forced into shaking hands with someone who is obviously ill? Make sure to be aware of these things and prevent touching infected areas without properly disinfecting first. Things to be aware of — don’t touch eyes, wounds, face or mouth without sanitizing.
It’s important to disinfect surfaces you regularly use to prevent cold viruses from spreading. Be sure to use hot water when washing clothes, especially things like bath towels, bed sheets, socks and underwear and athletic wear. Hot water kills bacteria and diseases, and can decrease the likelihood of spreading germs to other family members or kids at school.
KEEP A CLEAN HOUSE
Remember to disinfect high traffic areas in your home to prevent germs from multiplying. Areas like kitchens and bathrooms are the motherload for germs to spread. Change towels and sheets often, sanitize countertops, and clean toilet bowls and sinks regularly. If you or someone in your home becomes ill, quarantine them to a certain area of the house and don’t share linens or other germ prone items with the person. Keeping a clean home helps prevent disease and helps ensure your family is healthy.
As much as it may seem against good manners, don’t share stuff when you’re sick! In reality, most of these products shouldn’t be shared even if you’re healthy — avoid sharing make up, food, beverages, utensils, linens and anything that may transport germs. Make sure your kiddos don’t have to share their supplies at school either. They need their own pencils and sharpeners, pens, notebooks, crayons, folders, etc. Teach your children the value of sharing, but also help them learn how to avoid spreading germs. Having their own supplies will at least prevent them from asking others to use their supplies.
That’s it! Good luck with back to school. We hope our Guide to No Sick Days helps you and your kids avoid colds and flus this season.
Have health tips you’d like to share with our community on how help stay germ free? Leave a comment below! We’d love to hear from you and share your comments with on our Hapari network.