Prevent germs from invading your home

Prevent germs from invading your home

The weather is getting colder, which means people will be spending more time indoors, and increasing their chance of catching the flu and other viruses. Though there is no way to completely avoid getting sick, there are some preventative measures that can help keep germs out of the home.

1. Wash hands frequently. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend hand washing before, during and after food preparation and before sitting down to eat; after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; and after using the toilet or changing diapers.

2. Wash your hands correctly. Washing your hands isn’t as simple as running water over them. The CDC recommends rubbing along and between the fingers with soap and water, along the backs and palms of the hands and under the nails for at least 20 seconds. That’s about as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Make sure to rinse and dry your hands thoroughly.

3. Carry hand sanitizer to work and school. Though the CDC doesn’t consider hand sanitizers effective if hands are visibly soiled, sanitizer can be good to use after shaking hands with others or after touching areas where you don’t control the cleanliness, like someone else’s phone.

4. Don’t share intimate items. It may seem harmless to allow someone to take a sip of your drink, but it’s an easy way for germs to spread. Likewise, don’t share your makeup, lipstick or lip gloss with your friends and family.

5. Wipe down doorknobs. Doorknobs are often neglected during routine cleaning, yet they are a main point for human contact.

6. Wipe down computer keyboards. Give them the once over weekly with special wipes meant for cleaning electronics.

7. Wipe down phones. Even if your family uses only mobile phones, there may be times one has to be borrowed. Before using someone else’s phone, wipe it down with an electronics wipe.

8. Wipe down remote controls. Whether for televisions or music systems, this is something that inevitably is shared, and often during or after we’ve been eating. It’s a good idea to wipe these down with an electronics wipe during routine cleaning.

If symptoms develop like a fever, sore throat, coughing or vomiting, it’s recommended that you visit your doctor. Click here for more information on flu shots, or sign in to Angie's List to find a highly rated Chicago doctor.

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