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The flu is everywhere these days. I’m not really sure if this year is any more serious than any other year, but I can say that it sure seems that way – at least around me. Let’s talk flu prevention.
While I am not a doctor or even a health professional, I am a mom of nine who has had to learn a thing or two about preventing the spread of sickness. After all, with a family of my size sickness can invade and take out my family for up to seven or eight weeks at a time when it slowly attacks one family member after the other.
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Preventing illness is something we take very seriously in our family and is of course the first line of defense. However, living in the world that is so infested with germs, especially during the cold and flu season, means that eventually the sickness may come knocking on your door. You can read more about how I keep my kids healthy HERE.
So, what does a mom with nine kids do to stop the spread of flu germs when sickness invades? Here’s the protocol I follow.
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Investigate your cleaners well
While I am not here to promote any one cleaner or another, whether manufactured or more natural in nature, I am here to say that doing your homework is your responsibility. You want to make sure that you are cleaning with things you can feel good about. Here is my recipe for my anti-bacterial all purpose cleaner with essential oils if that interests you.
Wipe down door handles
Door handles are huge collectors of germs, since everyone touches them multiple times a day. Wipe down the door handles in your home at least once a day, especially the bathroom and entry door handles.
Wipe down light switches
These get touched almost as much as the door handles do, so they collect bacteria like nobody’s business. Wiping these down well at least once a day helps to lessen the spread of bacteria and therefore the chances of you and your family getting sick.
Wipe down any handrails
Again, this is one thing in your home that everyone touches all the time. Giving these a quick wipedown as you’re walking down the stairs is a great way to prevent the spread of germs.
Wipe down handles
This would include handles like those found on the refrigerator, microwave, stove, dishwasher, and any other kind of handles on commonly used appliances. Even my toaster oven handle gets a wipe down.
Wipe down hard surfaces
Wipe down all the hard surfaces in your home – a lot. This includes surfaces in the kitchen and bathrooms, but this would also include any tables as well as desks or work spaces that your family might use.
Wipe down commonly used objects
The remote is a huge collector of germs, but so are game controllers, phones, computer keyboards, and even your computer mouse. Basically, if people touch it, wipe it down.
Wipe, wipe, and wipe again
Don’t think that wiping these things down once a day will be enough. It won’t. This is especially true with a ton of people in your home like I have. The stronger you feel in your desire to stop the spread of sickness in your home, the more diligent you will want to be in wiping down all of the things mentioned above.
Hang coats outside
You’re all out in the world, which is where the germs come from, right? For this reason, leave those nasty coats (germ collectors) outside rather than taking them inside.
Leave your purse and backpacks by the door
I’m guessing you put your purse in a shopping cart, right? Or, maybe you put in on a register counter to pay. I know I don’t even have to tell you about germs on things like grocery carts. Keep your germy purse and those germ infested backpacks off the kitchen counter or off of kids’ beds. Do you really even want to think about where those backpacks go throughout the day? To be as safe as you can be, keep these things right by the door.
Don’t forget your steering wheel
This is also a huge collector of germs you pick up from everywhere you go. This is one of those areas that most forget about. We can be so diligent in disinfecting our homes but continue to bring germs in the house every time we come in from the car if your steering wheel isn’t disinfected every time you drive – or at least every day.
While sickness is unavoidable at times, there are things you can do to lessen your chances. This includes preventative care like I wrote about in keeping my kids healthy but that also includes preventing those germs from spreading further once they do enter your home.
I do feel like a cleaning nazi at times, but these things really do help.