Tips to Help Prevent the Spread of Colds & Flu in Your Household

01/29/2018

Cold and Flu season is upon us and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns that this year’s flu strain is a virulent one. Fortunately, there are simple ways you can protect you and your family from catching a bug this season.

 

  • Regularly clean high-traffic surfaces

Some cold and flu viruses can survive on outside surfaces for 24 hours or more. Be sure to clean and disinfect shared surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs, especially if there’s a sick member of your family. Use a Libman microfiber sponge cloth and a germ-killing disinfectant spray to wipe down shared surfaces like kitchen counters, light switches, faucet and toilet handles, TV remotes and door knobs.

 

  • Get a humidifier

Normally, the moisture inside of the nose, secreted by mucous membranes, helps trap pathogens, bacteria and dangerous particles before they enter the airway and lungs. Dry indoor air, as is the case in winter months, can prevent this process from occurring. However, running a humidifier can maintain the needed moisture in a room while also helping to relieve congestion and soothe sore throats.

 

  • Wash hands frequently

This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people just run their hands through water and add a squirt of soap and think they’re done. According to the CDC, you should spend at least 20 seconds lathering and rinsing your hands. That’s the amount of time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

 

  • Stop Sharing

After all those years of telling our kids to share, make them stop. If a member of your family does become sick, make sure they don’t share food and drinks, beds, blankets, pillows, towels, toothpaste and communal toothpaste holders, or toothbrushes (yuck but there are some couples out there who do).

 

  • Get plenty of sleep

When the body is sleep deprived, the work of white blood cells - which normally kill the bad germs and viruses - are limited. To help keep your body’s immune system in top fighting form, it’s important to get enough sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 11- 15 hours for infants and toddlers; 10 - 13 hours for preschoolers; 9 - 11 hours for school age children; 8 - 10 hours for teenagers and 7 -9 hours for adults.