You may feel helpless against it, but there are ways of stopping the spread of flu and other winter illnesses.
We know wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, stay home if you’re sick, etc, etc. But here are some ideas that go a bit further than that. Some that you probably haven’t thought of.
Five Ways to Prevent the Spread of Flu (that you probably haven’t thought of!)
1.) If anyone in your family has had the flu – or any illness – replace all the toothbrushes.
I had honestly never thought of this until several years ago when I was on my third bout of strep throat in as many months and the nurse that was giving my antibiotic shot asked if I had replaced my toothbrush.
Well, no, I hadn’t. I had been putting the same germs right back in my body over and over. I tossed that tiny, bristly, stick of death in the trash as soon as I got home that day.
If anyone in your household has had the flu, toss their toothbrush….. And everyone else’s (or at the very least, everyone who’s toothbrush is in the same bathroom as the guilty toothbrush. Our toothbrushes sit in close proximity to each other’s. Be on the safe side and toss them all.
2.) Wash your outerwear regularly (at least weekly) during flu season. Twice a week is probably better.
Flu season happens during the coldest part of the year when everyone bundles up before going out. Airborne germs settle on coats, hats, scarves that then get brought back home, hung up next to everyone else’s coats at home and then put back on the next day.
Kids’ coats are hung up at school next to the grimy coats of all the other kids and then brought home and….well, you see where this is going. So washing outerwear is a great way to rid some of these germs coming in.
If your family has a habit of tossing coats over a chair or on the couch or taking them to their bedroom, I would stop this practice too. Designate a basket (preferably where you enter the house) for coats when they come off to prevent spreading germs to all parts of the house. Having all of them in a basket will make them easier to grab and toss in the wash too!
Also worth mentioning here are backpacks and lunchboxes – other objects that can be germ carrying culprits. Wash, wipe down or spray those regularly too.
I’m sure you wash sheets and blankets and pillow cases when someone has been sick and wallowing all in them. But unless you have some magic pathogen-blocking pillow cases, stuff seeps through to the actual pillow. Ew. I say toss them and replace them with new.
4.) Don’t wear shoes in your house.
This one is good for a lot of reasons (a cleaner home being one of them) and it’s worth mentioning here. Think of all the gunk that comes in the house on your shoes (and not just the gunk you can see….)
5.) Disinfect the car.
We’ve talked about stopping germs before they come into your house but where are those germs potentially riding before they get to your house? In your car.
This is easier if you have leather interior – you can wipe down everything, even the seats. But even cloth seats can be sprayed with disinfectant spray. Keep antibacterial wipes in the car so you can wipe your steering wheel down when you get in.
Be sure to check out how I use my essentials oils to ward off germs also!