Flu season is upon us, and it is in full force. You may think that washing your hands will prevent the spread of the flu, and while it will certainly help, it’s not the only thing you can do to fight flu germs at home. If flu germs come in contact with objects and surfaces at home, they can remain for up to 48 hours at a time. Here are 5 ways to fight flu germs at home and keep your family safe.
How do flu germs get inside the house?
As we all know, flu germs are generally passed when someone infected with the flu sneezes or coughs into their hands. If the flu bug has latched onto you, you can bring it home on your shoes, clothing, or possessions. Once you touch objects in your home such as doorknobs, remote controls, telephones, and so on, the germs are there.
Ways to fight flu germs at home
1. Wash your hands. Washing your hands isn’t a cure all, but it will certainly help. As soon as you enter your home, walk straight to the sink and wash your hands. Don’t touch a thing on the way! This is especially important for young children, as they are highly exposed to the flu at daycare or school.
2. Remove your shoes. Shoes pick up a lot of dirt and germs as we go about our day, so they should be removed before entering the house. Have everyone remove their shoes to ensure they aren’t carrying anything into the home on their feet.
3. Disinfect surfaces. The best way to fight flu germs at home is to keep your house disinfected. Wipe down countertops, doorknobs, refrigerator doors, frequently used objects, and high traffic areas with vinegar or bleach/water.
4. Freeze stuffed animals. If you have young children in your home, chances are they have a favorite stuffed animal. Did you know that stuffed animals are a germ hot bed? Kill germs and dust mites by spraying the toys down with Lysol and placing them in a tightly sealed Ziploc bag. Put them in the freezer for 48 hours. Dust mites cannot survive in such cold temperatures, and the flu germ does not live longer than 48 hours outside the body.
5. Clean items that are handled often - Watch your family and observe the things they are touching. Telephones, remote controls, toys, computer keyboards, video game controllers, light switches, iPods, etc. are all items we may not regularly clean and/or disinfect. Wipe them down with a mild antibacterial pre-moistened wipe to help eliminate germs and bacteria.
Above all else, you can prevent the spread of the flu by being vaccinated. To find out where to go for a flu shot in Columbus, Ohio, visit the Find a Flu Shot website.
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