No one wants to get sick, especially not during the cold and flu season. Unfortunately, many things can make you and your family members susceptible to illnesses – from germs on kitchen counters to bacteria in the air. But you can also do many things to help prevent those contaminants from making you sick. Here are some tips to help you keep your family healthy:
1. Wash your hands regularly and often.
Whenever you touch something that could be contaminated – think doorknobs, light switches, handrails, etc. – wash your hands afterward. And make sure you’re washing them properly. Use soap and water, and scrub for at least 20 seconds. This ensures you get rid of all the potentially harmful bacteria on your hands.
Of course, you want to wash your hands before you eat, too. But also make sure to wash them:
- After you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze
- After you use the restroom
- After you handle the garbage
Depending on how often you’re doing these things, you may need to wash your hands multiple times a day. And it’s not a bad idea to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you when you can’t get to a sink. You can find alcohol-based hand sanitizers at most stores.
2. Disinfect surfaces that are commonly touched.
Because door handles, light switches, and countertops can all harbor germs, it’s important to disinfect them regularly. You can use a commercial cleaner or make your own. To make your own, mix:
- 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water
- 1 cup of vinegar per gallon of water
- 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol per gallon of water
Be sure to use a different cloth for each surface, and avoid cleaning products on food-prep surfaces. You don’t want to contaminate your food accidentally. Instead, wash those surfaces with hot, soapy water. This can help remove any bacteria that might be present.
3. Ensure a clean supply of drinking water.
One of the ways you can inadvertently make yourself sick is by drinking contaminated water. The government regulates tap water, but there are still ways for contaminants to get into your home’s water supply. That’s why it’s essential to have a home reverse osmosis system installed. This will remove any impurities from your water, ensuring that you and your family only drink clean, fresh water.
Some families choose to drink bottled water instead. But be aware that not all bottled water is created equal. Some types of bottled water may not be any better than tap water. You will also contribute to the millions of plastic water bottles in landfills yearly. Always check the label to see where the water came from and what type of filtration, if any, it underwent.
4. Don’t let your pets sleep in your bed.
Although you love your furry friends, they can bring all sorts of germs from outside. If you let them sleep in your bed, you’re increasing your chances of coming in contact with those germs. It’s best to keep them out of your bedroom altogether. If you must let them sleep in your room, keep them off the bed.
It is also good to keep them groomed. This will help reduce the amount of shedding and, as a result, the amount of dander in your home. If you have allergies, you may consider getting a hypoallergenic pet. Some breeds, such as poodles and schnauzers, are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
5. Keep the air in your home clean.
In addition to surface contaminants, there are also airborne contaminants that can make you sick. These include mold spores, dust mites, and pollen. Invest in an air purifier to help reduce the amount of these contaminants in your home. This will help remove them from the air, making breathing easier for you.
You should also make a point of dusting and vacuuming regularly. This will help remove any dust, dirt, and pollen build-up. If you have allergies, you may want to wear a mask while doing these activities. Always wash your hands afterward so you don’t accidentally rub your eyes or nose.
6. Be careful with food safety.
Finally, it’s essential to be careful with food safety. This means washing your hands before you handle food and cooking food properly. It would be best if you also were wary of cross-contamination. This is when bacteria from one food item is transferred to another.
It’s crucial to be careful with raw meat. Make sure to keep it separate from other food items, and always wash your hands after handling it. Uncooked meat can harbor all sorts of bacteria, so it’s essential to cook it thoroughly. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that it reaches the proper temperature.
By following these tips, you can help to prevent the spread of contaminants and keep your family healthy. If you’re ever in doubt, always err on the side of caution. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Use these tips to help prevent contaminations that can make your family sick at home.