Cleaning during Cold and Flu season
It’s that time of year again that we all dread, yes you guessed it its cold and flu season here are our top tips on how to stop the spread of germs and hopefully avoiding catching any nasty bugs yourself.
Ok so you don’t need to go mad and bleach the entire house but you will want to disinfect areas of your home that are used most often, especially by the children. Kids are likely going to be the source of colds and flu at this time of year due to their low immune systems and them interacting with many other kids at school, clubs and day trips ect so you want to start with them.
Blowing your nose
1. Teach your children to use a hanky or a tissue to blow their nose, we prefer tissues as they can be thrown away after use. If they need to cough or sneeze they can use the tissue as a barrier to help prevent the spread of germs and these can be discarded after use.
Cover your mouth
2. Teach your children to cover their mouth with their hand when they cough or sneeze, sometimes it’s not possible to use a tissue or a hanky, teaching your child to use their hand to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze can help to stop the spread of germs, they can then follow up with hand washing.
Washing your hands
3. Teach your children how to wash their hands thoroughly take a look at our hand washing info graphic to show them how to wash their hands correctly.
Disinfecting your home
Disinfecting should be made part of your regular cleaning routine, regardless of whether anyone at home is ill. Make sure the disinfectant you are using works on killing specific viruses such as cold and flu. We also recommend cleaning with kitchen roll instead of cleaning cloths or sponges as these tend to spread germs rather than cleaning them, you could even use disposable disinfectant cleaning wipes, these are great as they leave disinfectant behind which continues to clean long after you have cleaned the item.
10 Things to Disinfect
When deciding what areas of the house you should clean you should think about the items which get touched a lot. Things family members share are most likely to spread germs so you should focus on these items first.
1. Your phone – this includes mobile phones and land lines. A cold and flu virus can survive on these items anywhere from a few hours to a few days once infected.
2. The TV remote control – It is one of the most touched and also one of the least cleaned items in your home. Germs can be spread from sneezing into the hand and then touching these items.
3. The bathroom – almost all bathroom taps and flush handles are infected with the cold and flu virus due to people touching them so thorough hand washing is important, if someone has cold or flu they should use a separate hand and bath towel and these should be renewed every day.
4. Tables – Kitchen tables, coffee tables, play-area tables, and bedside tables tend to harbour cold and flu viruses, this is because they are touched often and are not cleaned enough in-between.
5. Computers and laptops – especially keyboards and the mouse, these items get particularly dirty but can become a breeding ground for cold and flu virus.
6. Soft toys. If like my daughter your child has lots of soft toys on their bed you should put these through the wash If possible, be mindful of items containing batteries and or moving parts as the items cannot be put in the washing machine you can give them a wipe over with and disinfectant cleaning wipe.
7. Bedding and soft furnishings – Sheets, blankets, towels and pillows ect can be washed as normal but at regular intervals instead of the usual weekly routine.
8. Door knobs and handles – these are things that people always forget to clean but are used by everyone in the house, and germs can be spread from person to person.
9. Light switches again this is one of those things that get touched many many times a day by everyone in the home yet no one thinks to clean them.
10. Keys – we all have that bundle of keys in our bag cluttered with keyrings we use them multiple times a day, in and out of handbags dropped on the floor yet can you remember the last time you cleaned them? That’s because no one ever does, even though they collect dirt, germs and bacteria as much as any other item on our list, so giving them a wipe over will also help stop the spread of germs and bacteria.
If you are unable to wash your hands it may be helpful to carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer around with you this will help in between hand washing, be careful not to over use hand sanitizer as it can be harmful to your immune system, we want to protect ourselves during cold and flu season but using it too much can kill the good germs, hand sanitizers also contain alcohol so they can dry your hands out.
Check out our 10 tips for home cleaning article here